Dal fracking gravi rischi per la salute umana

Le acque reflue derivanti dalla perforazione idraulica per l’estrazione di idrocarburi, meglio nota come tecnica del ‘fracking’, contengono benzene e microbi che possono comportare gravi rischi per la salute umana.

È quanto rivela uno studio condotto su una serie di pozzi in Pennsylvania da parte dello Us Geological Survey (UsGs). L’agenzia governativa statunitense sottolinea in una nota come l’attività presente in alcuni di questi pozzi rappresenti un habitat particolarmente adatto al proliferarsi dell’attività microbica: “La presenza di batteri sembra essere associata con concentrazioni di composti organici specifici come, ad esempio, benzene e acetato”, ha detto l’autore principale dello studio Denise Akob.

L’UsGs ha testato in tutto 13 pozzi nel nord della Pennsylvania per quantificare la composizione chimica inorganica e organica presentata nello studio, che arriva a distanza di pochi giorni dalla causa intentata da un gruppo di ambientalisti statunitensi contro la California per impedire all’industria petrolifera che utilizza le tecniche di shale gas e shale oil di scaricare rifiuti tossici nelle scorte idriche sotterranee.

Waste waters from hydraulic drilling, also known as fracking, contain benzene and microbes that can pose serious risk to human health, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said in a press release after a study of fracking wells in Pennsylvania. “The study highlighted the presence of some organic compounds (e.g. benzene) in produced waters that could present potential risks to human health, if the waters are not properly managed,” the USGS said on Monday. The USGS found benzene and acetate in fracking waste waters caused high concentration of microbes. “Some wells appeared to be hotspots for microbial activity,” USGS microbiologist and lead author of the study Denise Akob said in the release. “The presence of microbes seemed to be associated with concentrations of specific organic compounds – for example, benzene or acetate.” The USGS tested samples from 13 shale gas wells in northern Pennsylvania to quantify the inorganic and organic chemical composition and microbial communities in the waste waters for the study. Last Thursday, US environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the US state of California to stop the oil industry from dumping toxic waste waste into dwindling underground water supplies due to high levels of cancer-causing benzene and fracking fluids found in the waters. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique of extracting shale gas and oil by injecting pressurized toxic liquid into the ground. A fracking boom in the United States has catapulted the United States to be the world’s leading oil producer, with nearly half of production coming from the controversial practice.

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