Some popular California-grown fruits and nuts are irrigated with waste water from oilfields. No one has been checking if the practice is actually safe — until now.
Using oilfield waste water for irrigation is an unregulated practice in California that has has been going for years.
Oil companies are not required to disclose those chemical additives but the ones involved in the irrigation project recently did so voluntarily at the request of the regional water board.
The additives make for a long list.
There was is information on how much or how often the products are used. But many of the ingredients, such as ethylene glycol, cumene, methanol, ethylbenzene and naphthalene are on California’s Prop 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer.
At least two water districts so far are buying the oilfield waste water for irrigation, and a third has expressed interest in using it too.
The Environmental Working Group and other environmental groups are calling for a moratorium on new applications until we know for sure that the practice is safe.
Source: CBS News