Author: Carol Hutchinson (Page 3 of 3)
In the first comprehensive literature review on the respiratory health risks associated with fracking, experts from the Center for Environmental Health
The findings are important for several reasons. First, ethane output can play a big role in local air quality — when it is released into the atmosphere, it interacts with hydrogen and carbon and can cause ozone to form close to the Earth, where it is considered a pollutant that can irritate or damage the lungs.
The body of science evaluating the potential impacts of unconventional natural gas development (UNGD) has grown significantly in recent years, although many data gaps remain. Still, a broad empirical understanding of the impacts is beginning to emerge amidst a swell of research. The present categorical assessment provides an overview of the peer-reviewed scientific literature from 2009–2015 as it relates to the potential impacts of UNGD on public health, water quality, and air quality. We have categorized all available original research during this time period in an attempt to understand the weight and direction of the scientific literature. Our results indicate that at least 685 papers have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals that are relevant to assessing the impacts of UNGD. 84% of public health studies contain findings that indicate public health hazards, elevated risks, or adverse health outcomes; 69% of water quality studies contain findings that indicate potential, positive association, or actual incidence of water contamination; and 87% of air quality studies contain findings that indicate elevated air pollutant emissions and/or atmospheric concentrations. This paper demonstrates that the weight of the findings in the scientific literature indicates hazards and elevated risks to human health as well as possible adverse health outcomes associated with UNGD. There are limitations to this type of assessment and it is only intended to provide a snapshot of the scientific knowledge based on the available literature. However, this work can be used to identify themes that lie in or across studies, to prioritize future research, and to provide an empirical foundation for policy decisions.
Source: PLOS ONE: Toward an Understanding of the Environmental and Public Health Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Development: A Categorical Assessment of the Peer-Reviewed Scientific Literature, 2009-2015
Stanford researchers show fracking’s impact to drinking water sourcesA case study of a small Wyoming town reveals that practices common in the fracking industry may have widespread impacts on drinking water resources.
Thanks to PSE Healthy Energy for their work in collating and making available this information. PSE Healthy Energy, Inc. (http://www.psehealthyenergy.org/) is a multidisciplinary research and policy institute that supports the adoption of evidence-based energy policies. PSE is comprised of physicians, scientists, and engineers who work to promote scientific understanding of modern energy development.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University find that expectant mothers living in the most active area of shale gas development activities were 40% more likely to give birth prematurely. Paper is published in the journal, Epidemiology
Yale school of Public Health researchers just released a new study analyzing the chemicals used in frack fluid and fracking waste water. The research team evaluated available data on 1,021 chemical used in fracking. Of the 240 chemicals that have existing toxicity information, evidence suggested reproductive toxicity, developmental toxicity, and/or both for 157 chemicals. Of these, 67 were of particular concern because they already have an existing federal health-based standard or guideline for water quality. Furthermore, toxicity information was lacking for 700+ chemicals, which need to be rigorously analyzed to determine threats to health.
Access to the study can be found here: http://www.nature.com/…/…/vaop/ncurrent/full/jes201581a.html
More to follow.
A group of health professionals launched the Concerned Health Professionals of Ireland (CHPI) to a packed room in Buswells Hotel Dublin May 18th. The campaign is based on a growing network of health providers opposed to fracking, a model successfully used to achieve a ban in New York. The group launched a new website that includes a petition for health professionals to call on government on both sides of the border to implement a ban.
TDs that attended included Joan Collins, (ULA) Eamon Scanlon (FF) Eamon Ryan (Green Party) Martin Kenny (SF) and Maureen O Sullivan (IND). Richard Boyd Barret (PBP) was present and had spoken about fracking in the Dail earlier that day where concerns were raised about the first drill on the island of Ireland in Woodburn Forest, near Belfast.
Carroll O Dolan, a GP from Cavan spoke about the many recorded negative health impacts associated with fracking, based on peer-reviewed research that now exists. “It’s a fact that fracking damages health. Its not just rumour” he said
He said that for years these negative environmental and health impact were dished out by the oil and gas industry on developing countries but it was now coming to Ireland. “Our brothers and sisters have been exposed to this for a long time”
A discussion on the status of the EPA study being carried out by oil/gas industry service providers CDM Smith, referred to how the study was stalled at this time and that a report will be completed in the Autumn, whereupon a decision on whether to proceed or not will be made from it.
Dr Paula Gilvarry public health doctor talked about the public health risks of smoking, alcohol and road safety and government spending on health intervention initiatives. In relation to fracking, the best way to protect human health she felt was not to start it.
‘We know Fracking is dangerous. We don’t have to do much except, don’t do it!”
She spoke about the importance of clean water and Irelands green image. Cryptosporidium instances gave for many people an insight into how dirty water can cause real distress. But benzene she said ‘can kill’.
Susan Carton (nursing lecturer) explained that while some people in Ireland had to get used to boil water notices, for many Pennsylvania residents living in areas where fracking is taking place peoples health is directly threatened. Some of the recommendations of a health promotion agency in south western Pennsylvania included that residents should use bottled water as a rule, take off their shoes when entering their home leaving contaminated soil outside, check symptoms of themselves and family members, and call a doctor if bathing caused rashes.
Paula Gilvarry had reviewed the situation and felt that communities were the losers in fracking
“It’s a no brainer. It’s all about the money for these wealthy corporations
You cant put a price on health. It’s a short-term gain for the industry and a long-term loss for communities’
The drill site in Woodburn was never far from the room and concern was raised by TD Richard Boyd Barrett that this was setting a precedent. The audience heard that the drill in Northern Ireland had begun with a lack of proper planning and it was fracking coming through the back door into Ireland. There was a call from the floor to do more to support their Northern Ireland colleagues.
Carroll O Dolan referred to the constant onslaught by the industry on communities and warned.
“ The industry hasn’t gone away they are just regrouping.”
He appealed to his health colleagues to review the information presented to them and sign the petition calling for a ban.
“But bottom line is you can’t regulate this industry such that it does not have significant harm on human health. And that’s why I wish my fellow health professionals to read the information and come to the same conclusions. ‘
The website is now live on www.chpi.ie
Concerned Health Professionals of the United Kingdom exists to highlight the public health risks and harms that High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) and the exploration & extraction of Oil & Gas from shale rock pose to the people of the United Kingdom.
As health professionals, we have dedicated our working lives to serve and care for the people of the United Kingdom. We feel it is critical that the public health and safety of our communities is taken into consideration in relation to any energy policy for the Nation and particularly with regard to proven risk-carrying activities such as fracking.