Fracking, Shale Gas
and Health

Fracking and Health Awareness Project

Children

First do no harm: continue NS fracking moratorium — EHANS

04/16/2014

The Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia has submitted a detailed brief to the Nova Scotia Review of Hydraulic Fracturing, outlining concerns about health risks of the unconventional natural gas industry, including fracking.

The brief starts by looking at the state of the evidence, and points of consensus in the evidence.

The brief investigates a number of issues including the need to consider the health impacts of all aspects of the HVHF industry, including but not limited to fracking, and the need to consider short, medium and long term impacts, as well as cumulative, aggregate and peak impacts.

The brief also highlights ways in which traditional regulatory approaches are not a good fit for this industry at this time, including the fact that best practices cannot be assumed to be health protective, given the considerable gaps in scientific understanding of the issue.

The brief also highlights ways in which traditional regulatory approaches are not a good fit for this industry at this time, including the fact that best practices cannot be assumed to be health protective, given the considerable gaps in scientific understanding of the issue.

The brief notes a strong consensus in the literature to slow down and prevent harm.

The deadline for public submission of written evidence t the HF Review is April 30. Additional information is available on the HF Review website, http://www.cbu.ca/hfstudy/project-status.

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Potential Public Health Hazards, Exposures and Health Effects from Unconventional Natural Gas Development

03/04/2014

Potential Public Health Hazards, Exposures and Health Effects from Unconventional Natural Gas Development, authored by John L. Adgate,*,† Bernard D. Goldstein,‡ and Lisa M. McKenzie†, provides a detailed review of the range of potential risks to public health and evaluates the state of the evidence. Up to date, extensive overview.

ABSTRACT: The rapid increase in unconventional natural gas (UNG) development in the United States during the past decade has brought wells and related infrastructure closer to population centers. This review evaluates risks to public health from chemical and nonchemical stressors associated with UNG, describes likely exposure pathways and potential health effects, and identifies major uncertainties to address with future research.

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Potential Public Health Hazards, Exposures and Health Effects from Unconventional Natural Gas Development

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American Public Health Association Issues Policy Statement on Hydraulic Fracturing

02/20/2014

The American Public Health Association (APHA) policy document, The Environmental and Occupational Health Impacts of High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing of Unconventional Gas Reserves, examines the “major risks posed by HVHF to public health and the environment, including groundwater and surface water contamination, climate change, air pollution, and worker health.” The policy document considers “the entire process surrounding HVHF, including site preparation, drilling and casing, well completion, production, transportation, storage and disposal of wastewater and chemicals, and site remediation.”

The policy statement provides a detailed overview of identified problems in 10 major areas as well as recommendations for how to approach the issue as well as recommended action steps.

The 10 major areas examined in the statement are:

1. Groundwater, 2. Surface water pollution, 3. Wastewater treatment, 4. Water resources, 5. Air pollution, 6. Noise and light pollution, 7. Community wellness and mental health, 8. Occupational health, 9. Local public health and health care system effects, and 10. Emergency response systems.

Recommendations on how to approach the issue highlight the importance of :
1. Explicitly comparing tradeoffs among the economic, strategic, public health, and global climatological implications of energy alternatives under different extraction scenarios over the long term.

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Shalefield Stories: Personal Accounts From the Frontlines of Fracking

02/04/2014

Residents living on the frontlines of fracking recount their stories of illness, water contamination and damage to their livelihoods due to dirty drilling operations in a new booklet, Shalefield Stories.

“Behind the alarming numbers that outline fracking’s environmental impacts, there are real people whose lives have been gravely impacted by these polluting practices,” said John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment America Research & Policy Center. “These are their stories, and we would be wise to heed their words of warning on fracking.”

“This is what happens when you invite fracking into your community,” said Marilyn Hunt, who suffered air and water pollution and illness in the wake of nearby fracking operations. “Today, we are not alone in saying this dirty drilling has to stop.”

The people within the pages of Shalefield Stories are only a few of the many individuals and families directly impacted by fracking operations. In some cases, residents affected by fracking are no longer able to talk about their experiences because of gag orders contained in their legal settlements with the drilling operator. One tally called List of the Harmed shows more than 4,800 individuals adversely affected by oil and gas incidents.

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Modern Natural Gas Development and Harm to Health: Review

01/06/2014

High-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing of shale formations has the potential to make natural gas a significant, economical energy source, but the potential for harm to human health is often dismissed by proponents of this method. While adverse health outcomes of medical conditions with long latency periods will not be evident for years and will depend on the exposure, duration of exposure, dose, and other factors, we argue that it would be prudent to begin to track and monitor trends in the incidence and prevalence of diseases that already have been shown to be influenced by environmental agents. The dirty downside of modern, unconventional natural gas development, as well as the potential for harm, is discussed. Review Article from ISRN Public Health

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Modern Natural Gas Development and Harm to Health: Review

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American nurses adopt healthy energy resolution

01/03/2014

The American Nurses Association (ANA) House of Delegates adopted a resolution on Nurses Role in Recognizing, Educating and Advocating for Healthier Energy Choices at their June 2012 convention.

The resolution was submitted by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association (PSNA). It focuses on nurses using evidence-based information to educate other health professionals, the public and policy makers about the relationship between energy choices and human health.

“Human and ecological health risks are directly related to the use of coal-fired power plants, mountaintop removal of coal, offshore and onshore oil and natural gas drilling, and hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking.’ Research demonstrates that increased rates of asthma attacks, cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer are all associated with our current reliance on fossil fuels.

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Health Centre Supports People Suffering from the Impacts of Natural Gas Extraction

07/11/2013

The Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project was created in response to individuals’ and communities’ need for access to accurate, timely and trusted public health information and health services associated with natural gas extraction.
In Pensylvania, where new laws gag physicians from sharing information about fracking chemicals with their patients, the need for trusted health information is crucial.
SWPA-EHP provides an onsite nurse practitioner and also serves as a resource center for information on the potential routes of exposure from hazardous substances, as well as strategies for limiting the risk of health effects.

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Air Pollution and Natural Gas Operations

07/09/2013

This peer reviewed study by Dr. Theo Colborn details the health risks related to air pollutants generated by natural gas operations. Researchers documented a range of volatile chemicals and correlated them with well site operations. They documented the presence of numbers of chemicals at levels which could have multiple health effects on adults as well as on prenatally exposed children. Many of the chemicals found in the air are endocrine disruptors.

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Gas industry must make changes to protect health

05/30/2013

It will take years for the full health impact of natural gas development to be known. Authors of a new peer-reviewed study urge that steps be taken now to protect the health of humans and the planet. Modern Natural Gas Development and Harm to Health: The Need for Proactive Public Health Policies argues that the natural gas industry must make changes now to protect the health of people and animals.
The paper provides a literature review of unconventional natural gas development and its effects on human health. It focuses on impacts on children’s health, general harm to health, water contamination and air and soil contamination.

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The Toxic Assault on Our Children

05/14/2013

On Moyers & Company, biologist, mother and activist Sandra Steingraber explains why she was willing to go to jail for blocking access to the construction of a storage and transportation facility involved in the controversial process of fracking. Steingraber has become internationally known for building awareness about toxins she says are threatening our children’s health by contaminating our air, water and food. She talks to Bill about these “toxic trespassers,” and how we must act to stop them.

With government captured by the very industries it’s supposed to regulate, Steingraber has lost patience with politicians and corporations, but says our kids need to know “mom is on the job” of preventing destruction to the environment.

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The Toxic Assault on Our Children

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