“The EPA approved fracking chemicals that carry risks including tumors and poisoning of the lungs.”


This is a classic case of providing information out of context in order to frighten the public about fracking – and, naturally, create clickbait (gotta get that ad revenue!). Marketplace’s report relies of a number of questionable and controversial studies to support its claims against oil and gas. One study used by Marketplace links chemicals used in fracking to potential health impacts, but the connection is so shaky that the author of the Marketplace report had to add a disclaimer, stating: “while no medical diagnoses have been revealed to be caused by these oil and gas drilling chemicals, cause and effect can be difficult to prove.” Marketplace claims that these chemicals can cause terrifying ailments like “tumors” or “poisoning,” but they omitted a crucial point: the extremely high level of exposure necessary for such negative impacts to take place. There is no evidence from the field that these exposure levels are present, which makes language about “tumors” hyperbolic and irresponsible. It’s also worth noting that many of these chemicals are used in everyday products from household cleaners to toothpaste and ice cream.

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