It’s a Fracking Feminist Issue: Oil Drilling Poses Special Threat to Women

by Kaitlin Cole

If you live in NYC, you’ve probably heard about fracking recently. We blogged about Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon leading a group of high-profile New Yorkers against the practice, a drilling method which can release a bevy of harmful chemicals into our water and air, damaging our environment and our health. It turns out that many of these chemicals are especially detrimental to women; ecologist Sandra Steingraber has even taken to classifying fracking as a feminist issue.

One of the chemical compounds used in the fracking process, toluene, can cause birth defects or even miscarriages. Breast cancer rates have risen significantly in various counties in Texas where gas-related drilling has been occurring for many years. Counties in western New York that also participate in fracking show higher cancer-related death rates than counties without gas-industry activity. 

It goes without saying, but our health should obviously be a higher priority than growing the gas industry. With all these potential hazardous outcomes, we hope the government will think twice before drilling. 

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