22 Jan 2015 11:00am
FRACKING CHEMICALS COULD DAMAGE HEALTH: REPORT (SUBS/NEDS: IF USED, CREDIT MUST BE RETAINED) The chemicals used for fracking could cause damage to health and "kill" farms, experts have said, Beeld reported on Thursday. Cancer Association of SA (Cansa) researcher Charl Albrecht said studies in the US showed there were more than 1000 leaks during shale gas exploration. There were recorded cases of people who drank contaminated water and suffered neurological, respiratory and sensory problems. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves pumping a mixture of chemicals, sand, and water into the ground at high pressure, to free natural gas trapped between layers of shale rock. The water in the Karoo, where fracking was being proposed, should be tested to prove it had not been contaminated and the results made public. This should be done before, during, and at least six years after fracking started in the area. Formaldehyde and benzene are the two most dangerous chemicals used in fracking. Benzene could be absorbed or inhaled and could cause leukaemia in children, according to the report. Sapa /jje/fg/th