Monday, April 25, 2016

Study links animal illnesses, deaths and birth defects to exposure to fracking fluids

Illness, death and birth defects among mammals, chickens, fish and other livestock and wildlife have been linked to exposure to hydraulic-fracturing fluids, says a study by Cornell University. The study, which included interviews of animal owners in  Colorado, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, found 24 cases where animals were potentially affected by fracking, Krishna Ramanujan reports for the Cornell Chronicle.

"According to the study, recently published online and appearing soon in print, in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, making a direct link between death and illness is not possible due to incomplete testing, proprietary secrecy from gas drilling companies regarding the chemicals used in hydrofracking, and non-disclosure agreements that seal testimony and evidence when lawsuits are settled," Ramanujan writes.

Researchers round that in Louisiana, "17 cows died within an hour of direct exposure to hydraulic fracturing fluid. A necropsy report listed respiratory failure with circulatory collapse as the most likely cause of death," Ramanujan writes. "A farmer separated his herd of cows into two groups: 60 were in a pasture with a creek where hydrofracking wastewater was allegedly dumped; 36 were in separate fields without creek access. Of the 60 cows exposed to the creek water, 21 died and 16 failed to produce calves the following spring. None of the 36 cows in separated fields had health problems, though one cow failed to breed in the spring. Another farmer reported that 140 of his cows were exposed to hydrofracking fluid when wastewater impoundment was allegedly slit, and the fluid drained into a pasture and a pond. Of the 140 cows, about 70 died, and there were high incidences of stillborn and stunted calves." The study also cited examples in other mammals: horses, goats, llamas, dogs and cats. (Read more)

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