William Delamar: Fracking and radon

08/24/2014 8:00 PM

08/22/2014 4:41 PM

One concern that I have with fracking is the real possibility of creating radon gas issues in homes and businesses that will not be detected. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer and enters the home in one of three ways: subsoil gas, well water and emanation from building materials. Estimates are that 21,000 people die each year from radon gas-induced lung cancer.

In the case of fracking, subsoil gas and well water are the concerns. Well water testing could be the most revealing because if the levels of radon gas in water increase it may well imply that other contamination is occurring as well. The proposed rules from the Mining and Energy Commission recommend some water testing in areas, but it does not indicate what it would be testing for.

I encourage the commission to be specific about what it intends to test for, and if radon gas is not included, it should be.

Best practice protocol for testing should be designed by radon scientists and geologists. In addition to protecting public health, testing will provide us a greater understanding of the possible implications of fracking.

William Delamar

National Environmental Health Association, Certified Radon Measurement, Mitigation


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