Pennsylvania Law Gags Doctors from Telling Patients Which Fracking Chemical is Making Them Sick

Toxic f racking chemicals that leached into the ground making you sick? Why that's bad press for the oil industry!

That's why they came up with this ingenious (in an evil way) to deal with the problem: "gag" doctors from telling their patients what is making them sick. See, problem solved!

A 2010 congressional investigation revealed that Halliburton and other fracking companies had used 32 million gallons of diesel products, which include toxic chemicals like benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, in the fluids they inject into the ground. Low levels of exposure to those chemicals can trigger acute effects like headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness, while higher levels of exposure can cause cancer.

Pennsylvania law states that companies must disclose the identity and amount of any chemicals used in fracking fluids to any health professional that requests that information in order to diagnosis or treat a patient that may have been exposed to a hazardous chemical. But the provision in the new bill requires those health professionals to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that they will not disclose that information to anyone else -- not even the person they're trying to treat.

Link - via Fark (Photo: arimoore/Flickr)

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Or maybe completely irresponsible journalists are making stuff up.

I can't help but notice the lack of comments by actual doctors in the story, as opposed to environmentalist mouthpieces.

My guess is that doctors are indeed allowed to tell patients what is making them sick, IF those chemicals are actually detected at harmful levels. In other words, they can share the full results of toxicology tests, but they can't share the lists of chemicals used at various sites. But the doctors have that information themselves so they know what to look for.

And if that's the case, it strikes me as a very good idea.
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Wonder how many people will have
to be stricken horribly ill or
outright die before this practice
is stopped.
Yeah, you have plenty of oil, but
that won't keep the prices down.
Speculators will see to that. Aaand,
now you, your kids, and grandkids will
never, ever have clean drinking water.
And as always, have nice day....
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