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Learn about toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing

November 30, 2011

Hydraulic fracturing (also called hydrofracking or fracking) is a process in which millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground to break apart rock in order to release oil and natural gas.

The US EPA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program requires facilities in certain industries that manufacture, process, or use significant amounts of toxic chemicals, to report annually on their releases of these chemicals. Hydraulic fracturing is currently not a TRI-covered industry and so is not represented in TOXMAP.

EPA scientists are conducting a study of hydraulic fracturing to better understand any potential impacts on drinking water and groundwater. Congress has released a report on hydraulic fracturing (PDF, 161 KB) [Download Acrobat Reader] that lists 29 toxic chemicals used in fracturing (see Table 3 of this report). Note that additional chemicals may be found to be associated with hydraulic fracturing after the publication of this report. Click on the links in the table below for additional information on the chemicals in the report:

Acetaldehyde

Acetophenone

Acrylamide

Benzene

Benzyl chloride

Copper

Cumene

Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate

Diesel

Diethanolamine

Dimethyl formamide

Ethylbenzene

Ethylene glycol

Ethylene oxide

Formaldehyde

Hydrochloric acid

Hydrofluoric acid

Lead

Methanol

Naphthalene

Nitrilotriacetic acid

p-Xylene

Phenol

Phthalic anhydride

Propylene oxide

Sulfuric acid

Thiourea

Toluene

Xylene

 

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by TOXMAP Admin published on November 30, 2011 2:33 PM.

TOXMAP now includes TRI 2009 data was the previous entry in this blog.

TOXMAP now includes TRI 2010 data is the next entry in this blog.

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