Letters to the Editor

Gayatri Ankem: Fracking harmful to air

In response to the Aug. 18 news article “ Fracking hearings to begin”: We’ve learned alarming facts on health-related issues associated with fracking across the United States.

While most scientific reports conclude that more research is needed on chemicals shielded from public view, known chemicals in use should be enough to cause major health concerns. These include air toxics such as benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, silica, hydrogen sulfide and methylene chloride, many of which are carcinogens.

Strangely, North Carolina’s Mining and Energy Commission, which developed the drilling rules, leaves out any rules governing air pollution. That alone should send up red flags.

Relying on “proposed” EPA regulations that aren’t even rules yet is just too risky. The commission should request the N.C. Environmental Management Commission adopt state air toxics standards and permitting requirements associated with fracking.

Gayatri Ankem

Medical Advocates for Healthy Air

Chapel Hill

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