Texas fracking is exacerbating the PFAS crisis
A new report documents the wide use of PFAS in oil and gas drilling and calls on Texas to follow the lead of some other states in restricting use of the chemicals. (Canva)
By Amal Ahmed for Floodlight and Grist
At first, they were considered a miracle chemical: polyfluoroalkyl substances, developed by 3M in the 1930s, could keep scrambled eggs from sticking to a frying pan. They could make rainwater roll right off a jacket, and when added to fire fighting foams, put out major fires quickly.
But as their use grew, researchers started to link PFAS to a range of health problems, including birth defects, cancer, and other serious diseases. The chemical doesn’t break down, and can persist in water and soil, and even human blood, and has acquired the nickname “forever chemical.”
Despite scientific concern, PFAS are still used in everything from waterproof camping gear to fast food containers. And according to a new study, they are used even more in Texas.
A new report by the Physicians for Social Responsibility documents the wide use of PFAS in oil and gas drilling and calls on Texas to follow the lead of some other states in restricting use of the chemicals. The group criticized state regulations that allow energy companies to withhold information on the use of chemicals they deem to be proprietary.