The process of high pressure fracturing, or ‘fracking’ is used to mine coal seam gas (CSG).
CSG is widely used to generate electricity. In addition, this fossil fuel is used to produce a wide range of industrial products including fertilizers, and plastics.
Fracking has increased dramatically in recent years. In addition, this highly controversial mining method is expected to grow in the future. Fracking involves drilling into ancient rock deposits, and then injecting a high pressure mixture of water, sand, and chemicals that fracture the rock. This process releases the gas trapped inside the dense rock layer.
Our Land, Our Water and Our Future
Expanding CSG mining is a looming threat to natural resources. Wildlife habitats, productive farmland, and clean water are precious resources that are now under serious threat.
Environment groups and landholders have grave concerns that Australia’s rapidly expanding coal seam gas operations could permanently harm the environment.
The method of extraction generates massive amounts of polluted water, and spews toxins into local water supplies, rivers, streams and groundwater. The water used for the gas drilling contains hydrochloric acid, propanol and other hazardous chemicals.
Emerging Research Reveals Fracking Can Harm Thyroid Health
Now a new study reveals the extent of the threat fracking chemicals may pose to hormone health, including the potential harm to thyroid health.
This latest research reveals many of the chemicals used in fracking not only seriously disrupt the body’s reproductive hormones, but the hazardous chemicals used in the fracking process may also disrupt the glucocorticoid and thyroid hormone receptors which are necessary for health.
This study was recently presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the international Endocrine Society in Chicago, USA.
24 Common Chemicals Used in Fracking Disrupt Hormone Health
Presenting author, Christopher Kassotis, PhD student at the University of Missouri, Columbia states;
Among the chemicals that the fracking industry has reported using most often all of the 24 we tested block the activity of one or more important hormone receptors. The high levels of hormone disruption by endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that we measured, have been associated with many poor health outcomes, such as infertility, cancer and birth defects.
Hormones are essentially ‘chemical messengers’ that travel throughout the body, attaching to receptor sites so they can ‘deliver’ vital messages. When hormone receptors are blocked a diverse range of control systems throughout the body are severely affected.
Kassotis and his colleagues repeatedly tested up to twenty four common fracking chemicals. The researchers found many blocked the oestrogen receptor, preventing oestrogen from binding and exerting it’s natural biological response. In addition, seventeen chemicals inhibited the androgen receptor, ten hindered the progesterone receptor, ten blocked the glucocorticoid receptor and seven inhibited the thyroid hormone receptor.
Endocrine Society. “Hormone-disrupting activity of fracking chemicals worse than initially found.” Science Daily. 23 June 2014. Link
Vogel L. Fracking tied to cancer-causing chemicals. CMAJ. 2017;189(2):E94–E95.
Watterson A, Dinan W. Public Health and Unconventional Oil and Gas Extraction Including Fracking: Global Lessons from a Scottish Government Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(4):675. Published 2018 Apr 4.