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The answer is the image below, which, as I am writing, is going epidemically viral.
It’s hard to stop staring in utter baffled amazement. Is it some kind of … phallic cyborg?
The opening scene of a yet another sequel to Tremors? (Kevin Bacon! Nevada! Subterranean, worm-like, cross-dressing graboid!)
A sex toy from hell?
In fact, it’s all these things and more. Susan G. Komen, the largest breast cancer organization in America with more than 100,000 volunteers and partnerships in more than 50 countries, has teamed up with Baker Hughes, one of the world’s largest oilfield service companies with employees in more than 80 countries. Susan G. Komen hands out pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness, and Baker Hughes fracks. So, there you have it: a pink, fracking, drill head.
That’s Susan G. Komen pink, by the way. It’s special. Like John Deere green. And that signature color has been painted by hand on a thousand drill bits, which will soon be shipped by Baker Hughes to well pads all over the world, thus facilitating a thousand fossil fuel extraction projects just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Which is this month. (But please don’t confuse Baker Hughes pink drill bits with Chesapeake Energy’s “even-rigs-can-rally-for-a-cure” pink drill rigs. That was so 2012).
I am not making this up. Read more about the Komen/Baker Hughes frack-for-the-cure effort here. Watch a little promotional video about it here. And then share the contents of your heart with Susan G. Komen headquarters: right over here.
As the story explains, when the pink drill bits are shipped in their boxes (and, yes, the boxes are pink, too), they come packed with information about “breast health facts, breast cancer risk factors and screening tips.”
And exactly whose breast cancer awareness quotient will be bolstered out there on the well pad? Inside the trailers and the trucks? Down on the drilling floor? Up on the derrick?
“The hope is that the roughneck who cracks open that container learns a little more about the disease that afflicts 200,000 women per year.”
Here’s what I’m wagering that roughneck does not learn from the literature shipped with his drill bit this October: I’m betting he does not read about the recent study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that found dangerous levels of benzene in the urine of workers in the unconventional (aka fracking) oil and gas industry. Benzene is a proven human carcinogen.
According to Bernard Goldstein, MD, toxicologist and former dean at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health, “These workers are at higher risk for leukemia. The longer, the more frequently they do this, the more likely they are to get leukemia particularly if the levels are high.”
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