Natural Gas Operations from a Public Health Perspective

Abstract The technology to recover natural gas depends on undisclosed types and amounts of toxic chemicals. A list of 944 products containing 632 chemicals used during natural gas operations was compiled. Literature searches were conducted to determine potential health effects of the 353 chemicals identified by Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) numbers. More than 75% of […]

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Environmental pollution and lung effects in children

Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Studies over the last 2 years have added important new information on the relationship between air pollution and asthma incidence and severity. RECENT FINDINGS: Outdoor air pollution has been associated with asthma exacerbations, including emergency department visits and hospitalizations, as well as with the onset of asthma. Possible mechanisms mediating both […]

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Methane contamination of drinking water accompanying gas-well drilling and hydraulic fracturing

Abstract Directional drilling and hydraulic-fracturing technologies are dramatically increasing natural-gas extraction. In aquifers overlying the Marcellus and Utica shale formations of northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York, we document systematic evidence for methane contamination of drinking water associated with shale-gas extraction. In active gas-extraction areas (one or more gas wells within 1 km), average and […]

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Reducing the staggering costs of environmental disease in children, estimated at $76.6 billion in 2008

Abstract A 2002 analysis documented $54.9 billion in annual costs of environmentally mediated diseases in US children. However, few important changes in federal policy have been implemented to prevent exposures to toxic chemicals. We therefore updated and expanded the previous analysis and found that the costs of lead poisoning, prenatal methylmercury exposure, childhood cancer, asthma, […]

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Air pollution around schools is linked to poorer student health and academic performance

Abstract Exposing children to environmental pollutants during important times of physiological development can lead to long-lasting health problems, dysfunction, and disease. The location of children’s schools can increase their exposure. We examined the extent of air pollution from industrial sources around public schools in Michigan to find out whether air pollution jeopardizes children’s health and […]

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The rush to drill for natural gas: a public health cautionary tale

Abstract Efforts to identify alternative sources of energy have focused on extracting natural gas from vast shale deposits. The Marcellus Shale, located in western New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, is estimated to contain enough natural gas to supply the United States for the next 45 years. New drilling technology-horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing of […]

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