Fashion Plate

If you like Texas Jot, please take a look at my other blog, Fashion Plate. It is the home of my handmade retro Barbie clothes and lots of delicious recipes from my cookbooks.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Apache Makes Me SIck

While I'm not blaming Apache for every case of sniffles I've had, it does seem more than a coincidence that since they came on the ranch in October, I have been on two courses on anti-biotics and steroids and PARTNER has been seriously ill three different times.  This is not typical for us.
All over the country, from Pennsylvania to Texas to Wyoming, folks seem to be suffering from what I dub, Fracking Fever.  Citizens are complaining of a range of symptoms from allergies, to asthma and migraines.
Environmental spokesperson for Encana (drilling in Pennsylvania) maintains "the small amount of chemicals used the the fracking process is sequestered and contained in the well bore and disposed of properly." I guess she hasn't seen the cesspools of drilling mud lying about our ranch.  The EPA has found chemicals used in the facking process have migrated into some drinking water systems in Wyoming.  After April 1, drillers in Colorado will be required to disclose all the chemicals used in fracking.  It has been over seven years since the U.S. House of Representatives reported the oil and gas companies are using products that contain human carcinogens.
It seems like everyone but the oil companies are acknowledging the health risks associated with drilling as something other than "anecdotal."  Does this remind you of the issue of tobacco and lung cancer?  Deny, deny, deny and face the lawsuits later. While the oil companies may be putting up a hearty PR campaign, I came across a damning material safety data sheet from Baker Hughes drilling fluids. 

Product: Diesel Oil-Based Drilling Mud
Hazards Associated with Product Use:
Skin Hazard
Nervous System Toxin
Eye Hazard
Health Hazard Information:
Product causes eye, skin and mucous membrane irritation.  Repeated skin exposure can defat skin and cause dermatitis.  Inhalation may cause nervous system effects including drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, or blurred vision.  Aspiration my cause serious lung damage.
Chronic Effects of Overexposure
May be harmful if inhaled over a long period of time.  Lifetime skin painting studies with diesel produced carcinogenic tumors in laboratory animals.  Chronic exposures may cause allergic skin and respiratory reactions and kidney damage.
Environmental Protection Procedures:
Contain area of spill.  Cover with absorbent materials such as sand, earth of vermiculite.  Shovel into an approved waste container and dispose of .  Keep out of sewers and waterways.
Occupational Control Measures:
Wear an approved organic vapor respirator for petroleum vapors or mists.  Wear protective clothing with impervious aprons or coveralls and neoprene or butyl rubber gauntlets to prevent contact.  Wear rubber safety boots.

Do you really need to read any more?  Like the disgruntled Mayor of Dish, Texas said when he moved his family away from the drilling in the Barnett Shale because his sons were suffering massive nosebleeds, "I'm not against drilling, but I am against being poisoned."   Did I mention PARTNER and I have had nosebleeds? first, ever!
A biochemist, Robert Oswald, and a veterinarian and pharmacologist, Michelle Bamberger, have joined forces to document the link between natural gas operations in six states and the health problems of humans and animals in that area.  Surprise! The report indicates that exposure to drilling operations has had a detrimental health effect on domesticated animals, wildlife and humans.
So, this go-round I've been sick for three weeks.  PARTNER is still fighting allergies.  What's next? I can hardly wait to get out to the Diamond B and expose myself to something else toxic.  It shouldn't be too difficult with them drilling three new wells. Let's hope the wind is not blowing out of the east.

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