Radonland: Fracking Radon
The Marcellus shale is particularly rich in radium and radon. Solution mining it via high volume fracking is tantamount to mining radium and radon. Increases in radon are now so common in Pennsylvania that even the EPA is proposing to something about it.
April 9, 2015 – Levels of radon, an invisible, odorless radioactive gas, have been rising measurably in Pennsylvania since the controversial practice of fracking started there, researchers reported Thursday. The study cannot directly link fracking with the raised radon levels. But whatever is going on, residents need to be aware of the rising levels of the gas and take action to get it out of their homes, the researchers say. Radon levels were higher in homes near where there were more of these wells.
Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., killing an estimated 21,000 people a year. It occurs naturally in many types of rocks, and many people who have bought or sold a home will be familiar with the radon test on the basement or ground floor. Pennsylvania has notoriously high levels of radon, and Joan Casey of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues set out to assess all the different sources of radon on Pennsylvania homes over time.