Wednesday, July 2, 2014

‘Buzzword List’ Reveals What State Officials Can’t Say About Fracking

Former state employees told to ignore drilling-related health issues
Nadia Prupis
Former employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Health were ordered by supervisors to ignore complaints about fracking-related health issues and follow a host of other rules to keep the dangers of drilling under wraps — even at the expense of people’s health.

NPR State Impact spoke with two retirees from the department who said they were instructed never to return phone calls from residents with health problems stemming from natural gas development, like skin rashes, nausea, and nosebleeds. Employees were also given a laundry list of “buzzwords” and phrases to refrain from using when talking with the public — particularly those that explicitly related to the issue, like “fracking,” “gas,” and “soil contamination.”

Other terms covered health and environmental issues, such as “hair falling out,” “water contamination,” and “cancer cluster.”

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