A new study has found a dangerous link between fracking sites and rare forms of cancer, showing that children living within 5 miles of a fracking site were nearly 7 times more likely to develop lymphoma, as well as other health problems like severe asthma. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: A new study has found a dangerous link between fracking sites and rare forms of cancer, showing that children living within five miles of a fracking site were nearly seven times, seven times more likely to develop lymphoma as well as other very severe health problems. We’ve seen this story, haven’t we? Can I tell you, let me take you back in time. We’ve been doing this 20 years, haven’t we? Back to the very first days. Remember we did Air America. We did, you were a producer for Air America, and we were doing stories on this. We were doing stories back in the Air America days talking about the emerging science then. A year or two after we talked about that you had all of these documentaries coming out where they were showing that fracking chemicals coming through your water system that you could set your pipe on fire, was Gasland.

Farron Cousins: Gasland, by Josh Fox.

Mike Papantonio: Josh Fox was brilliant in putting that together. You know intuitively, this is really bad for health, right?

Farron Cousins: Oh, absolutely. I mean, there’s no question about it. And this new study is just kind of compiling everything that has been coming out for several decades. That this process of fracking is absolutely devastating for communities, not just through the poisoning of the water, which of course has been one of the biggest stories, but now we’re finding out through the flaring of it, which is when they vent off the gases and light them on fire up into the air. Uh oh. We didn’t realize, well, we didn’t care that this was causing cancer in children.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Well, the truth is, they’ve had the science. I mean, these aren’t idiots. They have scientists that work for their company. They know what a benzene chemical does. They know what a toluene chemical does. There’s tons of literature, tons of science that talks about the off-gassing of this. Look, there was a study done in 2022, nobody took any action on it. Nobody took action on it where they showed this increase of leukemia. Now, this is another study. Oh, by the way, this is also an increase of lymphoma. And what’s interesting to me is this isn’t guesswork. That found cancer clusters, 500 cancer cases, 500 cancer cases within that area, and then you go five miles outside the area and there is no cancer cluster. So these folks that are having to live with this, I mean, they have to make a decision, but they don’t have to make a decision that they have to get rid of their home or that they have to get rid of land that’s may be been their property forever. They need to go after these people.

Farron Cousins: They really do. And people have to understand too, because again, we’ve been talking about this for 20 years, but these environmental issues like this, it’s also a class issue. Because these fracking sites are not outside the gated community.

Mike Papantonio: Right.

Farron Cousins: Those are 20, 30 miles away from this. They put these in the poor communities. A lot of times, there’s environmental racism that we see. They put them in low income African American communities. That’s where they’re dumping their toxins or off-gassing their wells. And so this is a humanitarian issue. This is a horrendous issue for the people that are living there. And it’s going to get worse, especially because the Halliburton rule, we can’t know what chemicals they’re putting into the ground. You know, Dick Cheney responsible for that.

Mike Papantonio: Right. Well, that we can’t know, as you know, is a big defense. The big defense, well, we don’t have enough epi. Well, here, they got plenty of epidemiology. The, we can’t know, comes from the idea of going to a university and hiring some scientist that’ll say anything, just, Mr. Corporation, pay me the amount of money and I will use those words, we can’t know. Not in this situation. This is we clearly know. And so they’re not doing anything about it. And truthfully, the only thing these corporations understand, I mean, we’re talking about sociopaths, take their money away. You think the people making these decisions, they’re living in gated communities up in the Hamptons for God’s sakes. They’re living in gated communities in LA and New York and Chicago, they’re so far removed from this. They don’t care that somebody’s child died from lymphoma.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. Their kids are safe. They’re not drinking the poisoned water or anything.

Mike Papantonio: Exactly. Exactly. But the reality is, the only thing you can do is sue ’em and make their life as miserable as possible. We do that all the time and we’ve done it with a lot of corporations where we stopped the way they do business. That’s the only thing you can do.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.