Liveable Arlington Joins in Release of Report on use of “Forever Chemicals” to frack in Texas
Updated: Feb 22
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) released a report on February 6, 2023 called “Fracking with ‘Forever Chemicals' in Texas".
The report points out that since 2013, oil and gas companies have used more than 43,000 pounds of extremely toxic and persistent chemicals known as PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in fracking operations. The study focused on a particular PFAS or fluorosurfactants, specifically PTFE/Teflon.
The findings point to the fact that due to self-reporting, the quantities of use for this substance in fracking operations is probably highly underrepresented and that Texans may have unknowingly been exposed to highly hazardous substances either through direct exposure or from their water wells or groundwater. Yet Texas disclosure laws prevent the public from knowing how widely these chemicals were used.
PFAS are known for their toxicity at extremely low levels. These hazardous substances are linked to cancer and other harmful health effects. Their resistance to breaking down in the environment over time, has led to PFAS being called “forever chemicals.”
Due to the findings and the risk to public health and the environment, Physicians for Social Responsibility are calling for Texas to do the following:
Halt PFAS use in oil and gas extraction.;
Expand the public disclosure of chemicals used in oil and gas operations. Other states such as Colorado have already done so.;
Increase testing and tracking where PFAS may have been used.;
Require oil and gas to fund PFAS testing and cleanup.;
Reform Texas regulations and prohibit wastewater injection near groundwater sources.;
Better regulate oil and gas operations, while transitioning to renewable energy.
Liveable Arlington joins with PSR in asking for urgent action from the state of Texas on these recommendations.
Liveable Arlington and Public Citizen participated in the release of the report. Read the full report here.