Doctors Forbidden From Sharing Information Learned About Chemicals Used in Fracking

Author: Karen L. Tucci

A new Pennsylvania law, an amendment to Title 52 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, requires that companies provide to a state-maintained registry the names of chemicals and gases used in fracking. It also forbids physicians, and other health care providers, from obtaining information on potentially harmful chemicals used in fracking, if that information is claimed to be a trade secret or confidential proprietary information of the company, unless the physician enters into a confidentiality agreement.

Fracking is the method of forcing water, gases, and chemicals at tremendous pressure of up to 15,000 pounds per square inch into a rock formation as much as 10,000 feet below the earth’s surface to open channels and force out natural gas and fossil fuels. The Marcellus Shale extends beneath the Allegheny Plateau, through Southern New York, much of Pennsylvania, east Ohio, West Virginia, and parts of Maryland and Virginia. It is one of the nation’s largest sources of natural gas mining. Pennsylvania has about 5,255 wells, as of the beginning of March 2012, with dozens being added each week. Over the expected life time of each well, companies may use as many as nine million gallons of water and 100,000 gallons of radioactive isotopes within a four to six week period. About 650 of the 750 chemicals used in fracking operations are known carcinogens.

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4 responses

  1. I think that this derserves attention of our professional societies. Apart from the obvious health risks to individuals and public in general, this muzzles us to the detriment of our duty to patients and society in general. It bodes poorly for the future, as we all know what happened with Tobacco companies, nuclear waste, asbestos and numerous other noxious chemicals.

  2. Not only physicians,the public at large has to know of the harmful effects of uncontrolled fracking . Why would the politicians and governor bring in this type of legislation,unless they and the party are being paid big bucks.Dont they want to heed the voice of health care personnel who undersyand and know the long term effects of the various chemicals used by this industry.We have to have the media, TV,News papaers involved in educating the public. Pa Med is involved in the study of the effects of fracking. Ravi Kandula.ravindra.kandula@lvh.org

  3. If fracking is as safe as industry claims it is then why would they need Gov. Corbit , the republican house and senate to come up with a bill that hides the chemicals they are using under the name of a Trade Secret. Title 52, 3222 (b.2)

  4. Outrageous! I am so tired of these politicians. It’s a shame so many in the electorate are uninformed.

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