October 11, 2013

According to a study released this month, hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and other types of gas and oil extraction can leave increased levels of contamination in streambeds downstream.  Included in these are the creation of radioactive hot spots.  The specific facility that was involved in the study was penalized for violating provisions of its discharge permit.

Researchers found high levels of barium, benzine, strontium and other contaminants in excess of both state and federal water-quality standards.  Later, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection collected sediment samples and found radium-226 levels about 44 times higher than drinking-water standards allow at the outflow pipe.  Levels were even higher downstream.

Another particular concern is elevated levels of bromine, which can combine with chlorine resulting trihalomethans and other dangerous byproducts of disinfection, understood to be carcinogenic.

You may want to consider a radioactive filter cartridge to be included in your kitchen filter – or perhaps hold one in storage to drop into your filter in the event you need it.

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