On the misleading use of toxicology in discussions about fracking chemicals?

After their scaremongering tactics on the threat of fracking the Lakes district (no chance as there is no gas there) they tried to claim that silica aka sand was carcenogenic .

They couldn’t wriggle their way out of it https://michaelroberts4004.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/friends-of-the-earth-get-sand-in-their-eyes/

Here a Canadian chemists considers the claims that fracking fluids are carcenogenic and has a turkey shoot doing so.


but before you read at your leisure here are some chemicals used by anti-frackers that do cause cancer


A Chemist in Langley

Last night I was forwarded a tweet that absolutely demanded a response. It was from that friend of science Robert F Kennedy Jr. and said “New Study: CA frak chemicals are linked to cancer, mutations and hormone disruption”. The study in question provides a case-study for science communicators and journalists alike on how activist scientists can misconstrue and miscommunicate scientific risks in order to achieve political aims. The report is titled California’s Fracking Fluids: The Chemical Recipe and the report was prepared by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). I invite readers who are unwilling to wade through the entire torrid text to browse the Executive Summary at the EWG web site. Having done so I welcome you to come back and join me as I look into the claims in a much more nuanced manner and consider the actual information provided in context.

While the others are away reading…

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1 thought on “On the misleading use of toxicology in discussions about fracking chemicals?

  1. Paul Braterman

    The indiscriminate and out of context use of expressions like “may cause cancer” is not only misleading, but devalues real safety concerns, as in your illustration of anti frackers smoking while protesting about something as innocuous as diatomaceous earth, used, ironically, by “organic” farmers against slugs. A bit like “may contain traces of nuts”; alas, the anti-fracking movement clearly contains more than traces



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