Monday, April 23, 2012

Fracking air pollution rules to curb airborne chemicals

Chemicals released by fracking wells may be harmful
to human health to varying degrees.
The Environmental Protection Agency has finally issued air pollution rules for fracking wells last week, regulating the smog-producing compounds and gases that are released when the wells are first tapped.

In the United States, some 13,000 wells are drilled every year to collect natural gas and oil from shale formations through a process called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”

The rules will go into effect in about two months and apply during the first period after a well has been drilled when natural gas is venting but production hasn’t started.

Right now, drillers can burn off the gas, but in 2015 they will be required to collect it.

This phase-in of a green completion of new fracking wells will give enough time to companies to adjust, regulators say.

Right now, fracking wells release smog-related chemicals that have been linked to asthma, respiratory ailments and cancer and the new rules aim to curb that pollution.

Water is by far the largest component of fracking fluids. The initial drilling operation itself may consume from 6,000 to 600,000 US gallons (23,000 to 2,300,000 l; 5,000 to 500,000 imp gal) of fracking fluids.

Over its lifetime an average well will require up to an additional 5 million US gallons of water.

Chemical additives used in fracturing fluids typically make up less than 2% by weight of the total fluid. Still, there could be as many as 632 chemicals used in natural gas operations.

Some may be harmless, but others vary widely in toxicity. Some are known carcinogens, some are toxic, and some are neurotoxins.

Some of the potentially harmful chemicals include
  • Benzene
  • Ethylene glycol
  • Methanol
  • Boric acid
  • And more

Source: USA Today, Wikipedia

Keep homes and business safe from airborne chemicals

Air and water monitoring may be necessary to know how fracking can impact the environment and people in the area.

But indoor spaces can benefit from a portable and highly efficient air cleaner with activated carbon and HEPA to remove airborne chemicals, VOCs, gases, odors and fumes as well as particles, biological contaminants and mold.

Electrocorp’s activated carbon + HEPA air cleaners feature large adsorbent surface areas and can remove chemicals such as benzene, ethylene compounds, and many more.

Contact Electrocorp for more information.

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