As proposed in a recent letter to the editor, I learned more about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. A June 2013 article in the American Journal of Nursing discussed possible health consequences caused by fracking. These consequences begin at the onset of drilling or last long after the process stops. People living near fracking sites experienced symptoms of “fatigue, burning eyes, dermatologic irritation, headache” and various internal organ disruptions. The article has 49 well-documented references.
The health risks of water contamination, air pollution and occupational hazards led the American Nurses Association in June 2012 to call “for a national moratorium on new drilling permits for unconventional natural gas and oil extraction based on mounting evidence that fracking leads to human health threats, disruption in communities and ecologic degradation.” The association suggests that nurses and others need to know that safer energy options exist.
Before reading this article, my knowledge and awareness about the fracking process were limited. I wondered about the deleterious effects of this mining process but didn’t know the scientific thought until three educated nurses shared their research. The thought of methane being released by fracking and migrating into groundwater and the air is scary. I want my darling 3-year-old grandson to grow up in an environment free of serious hazards.
Diana Simon, RN