In 2014, when I first learned about the plans to frack near my sons’ school in the Mars Area School District, I became concerned. I scoured medical journals, met with researchers, and attended community meetings to learn more. I learned that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a drilling method that involves injecting fluid that contains sand, water, and chemicals underground in order to stimulate the flow of gas or oil. This process can both use and release chemicals that have been linked to cancer. As a cancer survivor, Carson is at a higher risk of having cancer again. While the form of leukemia he had as a kid has a relatively high survival rate, it can lead to additional health problems later in life.
It is my job as his mom to be vigilant about any possible environmental exposures that could increase that risk.
At the time, there were scant studies about the impacts to people from oil and gas operations. Researchers were only just starting to uncover the public health implications of these industrial operations located near homes, hospitals, and schools. Ultimately, our community wasn’t able to stop those gas wells from being drilled near the Mars Area schools.
There are now fracked gas wells and a network of gathering pipelines scattered throughout the school district…