Breast Cancer Action opposes hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” because the practice exposes people to endocrine disruptors and carcinogenic chemicals that are linked to breast cancer.
Fracking is the process of taking millions of gallons of water, mixing it with tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals and pumping the mixture underground at extreme pressure to break up rock formations and release oil or natural gas. Over 700 chemicals are commonly used in the process of drilling and fracking for oil and gas. Of these, dozens are listed as “chemicals of concern” because of their link to myriad health harms, and several are known carcinogens or endocrine disruptors that have proven links to breast cancer.
Chemicals used in the fracking process can leech into well water that rural communities depend on, and seep into underground aquifers and contaminate water supplies for people who live in far-off cities. There is also mounting evidence that fracking chemicals contaminate our food supplies when polluted water is used for irrigation or for cattle to drink. The chemicals used in the fracking process lack oversight, and there has been no comprehensive study or analysis to prove that fracking is safe, despite industry claims to the contrary. This is a growing industry that is capable of poisoning and polluting the basic necessities of life: our food and water.
We have long been committed to stopping cancer before it starts, in addition to supporting women diagnosed with the disease, and to do so we need to stop cancer-causing toxins from entering our world and bodies in the first place. Fracking is part of this work to create healthier environments for all of us. As a breast cancer organization long concerned with the impact of unregulated toxic industries, without corporate funders to appease or please, we bring a strong feminist public health analysis to the movement against fracking.