I just got tickets to this film that has won all kinds of awards.
Our primary goal is to open the door to conversations about the chemical burden our bodies carry, and consequently advance the utilization of green chemistry and the Precautionary Principle. Here’s a recent review that I think sums the film up beautifully
I hope all the area fracking insurgents will join me because this topic very much relates to fracking.
“Unacceptable Levels examines the results of the chemical revolution of the 1940s through the eyes of affable filmmaker Ed Brown, a father seeking to understand the world in which he and his wife are raising their children. To create this debut documentary, one man and his camera traveled extensively to find and interview top minds in the fields of science, advocacy, and law. Weaving their testimonies into a compelling narrative, Brown presents us with the story of how the chemical revolution brought us to where we are, and of where, if we’re not vigilant, it may take us.”
Presented by NYR (Neal’s Yard Remedies) Organic and Executive Producer Peter Kindersley
Thursday, January 30 7:30PM – 9:06PM
in Dallas, TX at AMC Valley View 16 $11.00 General
There will be a post film Q&A including Executive Producer Peter Kindersley, Proprietor and Chairman of Neal’s Yard Remedies and Sheepdrove Organic Farm and Eco Conference Centre. I will join Peter on the Q&A panel to answer questions about fracking.
This seems like a good time to share with you one of my favorite moments from my deposition with Range Resources that has to do with unacceptable levels.
Fun with depositions where Q = Andy Sims and A = me.
NOTE: none of the lengthy exchange below has anything to do with the Lipsky case.
Q. If you’ll just flip all the way through the–through the exhibit and tell me what–what that is and what the information was used for.
A. This is for the video that I made. These are what I pulled off FracFocus.
Q. So Exhibit 12 has to do with the video that you made that you posted online?
Q. And what video was that?
A. That’s the video where David Poole says that frac fluid–he says the statement that frac fluid is toxic is fundamentally incorrect.
Q. And so you put together a video to do what?
A. To show that’s not true, that’s not a true statement.
Q. Did you–did you seek the expertise of anyone in putting together your video as to the statements made by David Poole?
A. No. I looked on the–I looked on the disclosure of the frac fluid for Range Resources and found chemicals such as Naphthalene, and looked up how dangerous those are.
Q. Do you–do you have any knowledge or information about the quantity of any of those substances in any frac fluid?
A. Well, it’s a little wiggly because it changes all the time.
When I first started investigating fracking, it was 2% and then it changed to 1%. And not they’re down to saying it’s .5%. So it’s somewhere between 2 and .5 percent.
But if you’re talking about a frac job that’s 2 and a half million gallons, that’s over 80 tons of chemicals.
Q. So, when you say 5%–or did you mean .5% or–
A. .5. Yeah, .5.
Mr. Sims: Objection, non responsive.
Q. My question to you is simply: Do you have any knowledge or information about any particular chemical as to what the concentration of it is in any frac fluid?
A. No. I would love to have that information. I think the general American public would love to have that information.
Q. Do you think it’s important to know the concentration in order to determine whether the substance is harmful or not?
A. No. I think Naphthalene is obviously harmful. We don’t want to drink it.
Q. In any–in any concentration?
A. Some of the chemicals in very, very low concentration are harmful.
Q. If the concentration is low enough, it’s not harmful, correct?
A. I don’t know. I–I don’t want to even drink a little bit of Naphthalene.
Q. Well, you know that there are published standards, for example, for benzene, that–that below certain quantities, the EPA and others determine that it’s not harmful?
Mr Carlton: Objection.
Mr. Stewart: I object to the form of that.
A. Really? (thinks to self: You are full of it!)
Q. Do you know that?
A. I don’t want my child being exposed to–there–there is no safe level of benzene. There’s no safe level.
Q. Are you aware of published standards about benzene?
A. I am also aware that it has been stated that there is no safe level of benzene.
This is an update to let you know that the American Petroleum Institute commissioned a toxicological study of benzene in 1948 and found that there is no acceptable exposure for benzene. Whoops!
Mr. Sims: Objection, non responsive.
Q: My question is simply: As it relates to posts you have made, are you aware of published standards for some of these chemicals by the EPA and other regulatory agencies that publish standards below which the concentrations are safe?
Mr. McClain: I’m going to object to that. I think that fundamentally misstates the standards that are published by the EPA, TCEQ and others.
Mr. Stewart: Join in the form of objection.
The standards published by the EPA and TCEQ and others are for use as guidelines for regulatory purposes for one single chemical. They are not meant as a fine line between safe and dangerous concentrations for that one single chemical.
Benzene is so toxic it is measured in parts per billion. According to the World Health Organization, “no safe level of exposure can be recommended.”
What is Naphthalene and how much is safe for your toddler?
The EPA recommends that children not drink water with over 0.5 parts per million (0.5 ppm) naphthalene for more than 10 days or over 0.4 ppm for any longer than 7 years. Adults should not drink water with more than 1 ppm for more than 7 years. For water consumed over a lifetime (70 years), the EPA suggests that it contain no more than 0.1 ppm naphthalene. LINK
An example might help illustrate the part per … idea. If you divide a pie equally into 10 pieces, then each piece would be a part per ten; for example, one-tenth of the total pie. If, instead, you cut this pie into a million pieces, then each piece would be very small and would represent a millionth of the total pie or one part per million of the original pie. If you cut each of these million minute pieces into a thousand little pieces, then each of these new pieces would be one part per billion of the original pie. To give you an idea of how little this would be, a pinch of salt in ten tons of potato chips is also one part (salt) per billion parts (chips).
In this example, the pieces of the pie were made up of the same material as the whole. However, if there was a contaminant in the pie at a level of one part per billion, one of these invisible pieces of pie would be made up of the contaminant and the other 999,999,999 pieces would be pure pie. Similarly, one part per billion of an impurity in water represents a tiny fraction of the total amount of water. One part per billion is the equivalent of one drop of impurity in 500 barrels of water.
I could do this with each chemical/substance mentioned in the video I made, naphthalene, ethylene glychol, crystalline silica quartz, that is coated in no telling what, methanol, petroleum distillates that contain benzene and hydrochloric acid. BUT, and here’s the kicker: what if I mixed all these together? Then what would I have and what levels of that concoction would you want your toddler drinking?
Remember, Chemical Toxicology In the Fracking Zone.
34:20 “The major problem is the mixture problem. And I can’t overemphasize how serious that is in trying to understand what’s going on… The presence of one agent can increase the toxicity of another agent by several fold.”
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Jana DeGrand (@janadegrand) says
Sharon, once again, thank you.
Tim Ruggiero says
Looks like to me you were getting on little Andy’s nerves just a bit. I sure hope you publish some more of the depo, As difficult as it was for you to have to sit thru that nonsense for hours on end, I think people need to see how desperate Industry is to protect their dirty deeds.
The problem with the depo is I only have a hard copy scanned on my computer so I have to retype the damn thing.
Kristin Henry says
Thanks for this Sharon. This sounds like a great, and much needed film. The trailer makes me think a lot about the film by our co-founder, Blue Vinyl, about PVC and it’s toxic “lifecycle”; as well as a new solution-based film by Linda Booker on hemp and it’s healthy uses called Bringing It Home.
Kristin Henry recently posted..video test
Anyone interested in the harm caused by chemicals and the chemical industry should go back to the beginning and read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. It’s a beautifully written, insightful book by a true scientist who cared about the world around her and how it was being wrecked by toxic synthetic chemicals. She was also dying of breast cancer while writing it over 50 years ago (published 1962).
You could say Silent Spring was the original warning siren about the chemical industry, of which it seems Unacceptable Levels could be the latest.
The most amazing thing about Silent Spring is that it could be released today and be almost entirely applicable to our current circumstances. We are still plagued with many of the same chemicals and the evil people who profit from making, selling, and using them… and of course many new creations like GMOs.
It’s great that people are making documentaries about this topic, but it’s really kind of depressing to realize that we have made so little progress in protecting our health and environment from toxic chemicals in 50 years.
Completely agree with you on all counts!