Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

TOXMAP: Learn about toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing & Update [Wyoming water wells very likely contaminated by fracking]

From the US National Library of Medicine Press Release of 30 November 2011

Hydraulic fracturing (also called hydrofracking or fracking) is a process in which millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground to break apart rock in order to release oil and natural gas.

The US EPA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program requires facilities in certain industries that manufacture, process, or use significant amounts of toxic chemicals, to report annually on their releases of these chemicals. Hydraulic fracturing is currently not a TRI-covered industry and so is not represented in TOXMAP.

EPA scientists are conducting a study of hydraulic fracturing to better understand any potential impacts on drinking water and groundwater. Congress has released a report on hydraulic fracturing (PDF, 156 KB) that lists 29 toxic chemicals used in fracturing (see Table 3 of this report). Click on the links in the table below for additional information on these chemicals:

Acetaldehyde Acetophenone Acrylamide
Benzene Benzyl chloride Copper
Cumene Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate Diesel
Diethanolamine Dimethyl formamide Ethylbenzene
Ethylene glycol Ethylene oxide Formaldehyde
Hydrochloric acid Hydrofluoric acid Lead
Methanol Naphthalene Nitrilotriacetic acid
p-Xylene Phenol Phthalic anhydride
Propylene oxide Sulfuric acid Thiourea
Toluene Xylene

December 7, 2011 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Fragrant chemicals may pose threat to humans, environment | Great Lakes Echo

Fragrant chemicals may pose threat to humans, environment | Great Lakes Echo.

From the 12 October 2011 Great Lakes Echo Blog

By Sara Matthews-Kaye

Editor’s note: Synthetic musk is one of the pollutants of emerging concern to be discussed Oct. 11-14 in Detroit at the 2011 Great Lakes WeekDetroit Public Television is providing ongoing coverage of Great Lakes Week at greatlakesnow.org

Some scientists worry that the chemicals that make lotion, soap, trash bags and a myriad of household products smell good are an emerging class of pollutants that threaten environmental and human health.

There is “supporting evidence that more study and research need to be done,” said Antonette Arvai, a physical scientist with the International Joint Commission, a U.S. and Canadian agency that will discuss newly emerging pollutants at its biennial meeting in Detroit this week.

Lotions, soaps and other pleasant smelling cosmetics may contain harmful chemicals. Photo: Normann Copenhagen (Flickr)

Use of fragrant chemicals in the United States has doubled since 1990. Arecent study by the commission identifies synthetic musk fragrance, used in a great number of personal care and cleaning products, as a chemical of emerging concern.

“When musk is applied to the structure of a cell wall, more toxins can pass through it,” Arvai said.  The commission has recommended that scientists and regulatory authorities in both countries study the health risk of synthetic musks.

Concerns go beyond human health. Synthetic musk accumulates in aquatic organisms over time.  A2009 studyinEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistryreported that two musk fragrances, Galaxolide and Tonalide, were found in every sample of fish taken from the North Shore Channel in Chicago.

A large portion of world-wide musk production is Galaxolide and Tonalide.

Read the entire article

November 20, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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