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EPA Confirms Drinking Water Contamination by Toxics Used in Hydraulic Fracturing (2-butoxyethanol (2-BE))

Saturday, September 4, 2010 15:40
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2-butoxyethanol (2-BE) is used in this process along with other toxins

Environmental Protection Agency told a group of over 70 that initial investigations found 11 of 39 tested drinking water wells were contaminated. Among the contaminants are toxics used in oil and gas production.

As part of a Superfund investigation, EPA began sampling in March 2009 in the Pavillion, WY area in response to multiple landowners concerns about changes in water quality and quantity following EnCana’s increased gas development in the area. Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) and EnCana had continually assured Pavillion residents that there was no evidence of hydrocarbons or toxic chemicals in their drinking water wells.

“Our families and neighbors are experiencing everything from miscarriages and rare cancers to central nervous system disorders, seizures, and liver disease” said John Fenton of Pavillion Area Concerned Citizens, a citizens group formed to address oil and gas…Read more…

See earlier article posted last night here:

Feds: Don’t drink contaminated water in Wyo. town

I could not find this inf. last night that I had read before.


2-Butoxyethanol is a solvent in paints and surface coatings, as well as cleaning products and inks. Other products that contain 2-butoxyethanol include acrylic resin formulations, asphalt release agents, firefighting foam, leather protectors, oil spill dispersants, bowling pin and lane degreaser, and photographic strip solutions. Other products containing 2-butoxyethanol as a primary ingredient include some whiteboard cleaners, liquid soaps, cosmetics, dry cleaning solutions, lacquers, varnishes, herbicides, and latex paints.

2-Butoxyethanol is frequently found in popular cleaning products.[1]HYPERLINK l “cite_note-1″[2] It provides cleaning power and the characteristic odor of Windex and other glass cleaners. It is the main ingredient of many home, commercial and industrial cleaning solutions, such as Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner.

[edit] Corexit

Butoxyethanol is also a major component (30-60% by weight) of Corexit 9527, an oil spill dispersant product.[3] In the United States, the primary manufacturers are Eastman Chemical, Dow Chemical and Equistar. Corexit 9527 is being used in conjunction with Corexit 9500 in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.[4]

A study conducted by Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources concluded that oil in the environment is toxic at 11 PPM (parts per million). Corexit 9500 is toxic at only 2.61 PPM. So in reality, Corexit is approximately four times more toxic than oil. But Corexit 9500 has another precarious characteristic; it’s reaction to warm water. As the water in the Gulf of Mexico heats up, Corexit 9500 goes through a phase transition that changes it from a liquid to a gas, which is readily absorbed by clouds and released as toxic rain.

How Feds can say that NO Corexit found nearshore: EPA SETS DISPERSANT SCREENING LEVEL at 750 ppm! (VIDEO)

Human exposure

Moderate respiratory exposure to 2-butoxyethanol often results in irritation of mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat. Heavy exposure via respiratory, dermal or oral routes can lead to hypotension, metabolic acidosis, hemolysis, pulmonary edema and coma. The current ACGIH threshold limit value (TLV) for worker exposure is 20 ppm in the industrial atmosphere, which is well above the odor threshold of 0.4 ppm. Blood or urine concentrations of 2-butoxyethanol or its major toxic metabolite, 2-butoxyacetic acid, may be measured using chromatographic techniques to monitor worker exposure or to confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in hospitalized patients. A biological exposure index of 200 mg 2-butoxyacetic acid per g creatinine has been established in an end-of-shift urine specimen for exposed U.S. employees.[8]HYPERLINK l “cite_note-8″[9]

U.S. Employers are required to inform employees when they are working with this substance.[10]

Butoxyethanol is listed in the U.S. state of California as a hazardous substance,[11] though it was removed from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s list of hazardous air pollutants in 1994.[12]

2-Butoxyethanol has come under scrutiny in Canada, and Environment and Health Canada recommended that it be added to Schedule 1 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).[13] The use of some common household cleaning products containing 2-butoxyethanol could expose people to levels 12 times greater than California’s one-hour guideline, especially when indoor use is considered.[1] These products are not required to list it on the label when diluted to a certain point. The safety of the products as normally used is defended by the American Chemistry Council and the Soap and Detergent Association, industry trade groups,_2010..html


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