High levels of radium in fracking waste fluids from shale pose serious risks to groundwater and surface water. Colorless, odorless radioactive radon gas is also released from the ground by hydraulic fracturing. After smoking, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Although the Marcellus Shale is more radioactive than other shale formations, there is potential for increased radon pollution from fracking in California, particularly deep wells (≥ 2 miles) are more likely to result in release of radioactivity. Among counties in California, Los Angeles County has the highest risk of unsafe radon levels in homes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
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