Understanding exposure from natural gas drilling puts current air standards to the test

Abstract Case study descriptions of acute onset of respiratory, neurologic, dermal, vascular, abdominal, and gastrointestinal sequelae near natural gas facilities contrast with a subset of emissions research, which suggests that there is limited risk posed by unconventional natural gas development (UNGD). An inspection of the pathophysiological effects of acute toxic actions reveals that current environmental […]

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Planning For Fracking on the Barnett Shale: Urban Air Pollution, Improving Health Based Regulation, and the Role of Local Governments

Abstract In the last decade hydraulic fracturing for natural gas has exploded on the Barnett Shale in Texas. The region is now home to the most intensive hydraulic fracking and gas production activities ever undertaken in densely urbanized areas. Faced with minimal state and federal regulation, Texas cities are on the front line in the […]

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Highly Elevated Atmospheric Levels of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Uintah Basin, Utah

Abstract Oil and natural gas production in the Western United States has grown rapidly in recent years, and with this industrial expansion, growing environmental concerns have arisen regarding impacts on water supplies and air quality. Recent studies have revealed highly enhanced atmospheric levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from primary emissions in regions of heavy […]

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Air quality in the Industrial Heartland of Alberta, Canada and potential impacts on human health

Abstract The “Industrial Heartland” of Alberta is Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing center, with more than 40 major chemical, petrochemical, and oil and gas facilities. Emissions from these industries affect local signair quality and human health. This paper characterizes ambient levels of 77 volatile organic compounds sign(VOCs) in the region using high-precision measurements collected in summer 2010. Remarkably strong enhancements […]

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Traffic-Related Air Pollution, Particulate Matter, and Autism

Abstract Context: Autism is a heterogeneous disorder with genetic and environmental factors likely contributing to its origins. Examination of hazardous pollutants has suggested the importance of air toxics in the etiology of autism, yet little research has examined its association with local levels of air pollution using residence-specific exposure assignments. Objective: To examine the relationship […]

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An Exploratory Study of Air Quality near Natural Gas Operations

Abstract This exploratory study was designed to assess air quality in a rural western Colorado area where residences and gas wells co-exist. Sampling was conducted before, during, and after drilling and hydraulic fracturing of a new natural gas well pad. Weekly air sampling for 1 year revealed that the number of non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) and […]

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The potential near-source ozone impacts of upstream oil and gas industry emissions

Abstract Increased drilling in urban areas overlying shale formations and its potential impact on human health through decreased air quality make it important to estimate the contribution of oil and gas activities to photochemical smog. Flares and compressor engines used in natural gas operations, for example, are large sources not only of NOx but also […]

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Human health risk assessment of air emissions from development of unconventional natural gas resources

Abstract BACKGROUND: Technological advances (e.g. directional drilling, hydraulic fracturing), have led to increases in unconventional natural gas development (NGD), raising questions about health impacts. OBJECTIVES: We estimated health risks for exposures to air emissions from a NGD project in Garfield County, Colorado with the objective of supporting risk prevention recommendations in a health impact assessment (HIA). METHODS: We […]

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Hydrocarbon emissions characterization in the Colorado Front Range: A pilot study

Abstract The multispecies analysis of daily air samples collected at the NOAA Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) in Weld County in northeastern Colorado since 2007 shows highly correlated alkane enhancements caused by a regionally distributed mix of sources in the Denver-Julesburg Basin. To further characterize the emissions of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons (propane, n-butane, i-pentane, n-pentane […]

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Air Pollution Exposure during Pregnancy, Ultrasound Measures of Fetal Growth, and Adverse Birth Outcomes: A Prospective Cohort Study

Abstract BACKGROUND: Air pollution exposure during pregnancy might have trimester-specific effects on fetal growth. OBJECTIVE: We prospectively evaluated the associations of maternal air pollution exposure with fetal growth characteristics and adverse birth outcomes in 7,772 subjects in the Netherlands. METHODS: Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter < 10 μm (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels […]

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Time-to-Event Analysis of Fine Particle Air Pollution and Preterm Birth: Results from North Carolina, 2001–2005

Abstract Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy has been suggested to be a risk factor for preterm birth; however, epidemiologic evidence remains mixed and limited. The authors examined the association between ambient levels of particulate matter […]

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Ambient Air Pollution Exposure and Full-Term Birth Weight in California

Abstract BACKGROUND: Studies have identified relationships between air pollution and birth weight, but have been inconsistent in identifying individual pollutants inversely associated with birth weight or elucidating susceptibility of the fetus by trimester of exposure. We examined effects of prenatal ambient pollution exposure on average birth weight and risk of low birth weight in full-term […]

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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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Maternal exposure to ambient levels of benzene and neural tube defects among offspring: Texas, 1999-2004

Abstract BACKGROUND: Previous studies have reported positive associations between maternal exposure to air pollutants and several adverse birth outcomes. However, there have been no studies assessing the association between environmental levels of hazardous air pollutants, such as benzene, and neural tube defects (NTDs), a common and serious group of congenital malformations. OBJECTIVE: Our goal was […]

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A framework for examining social stress and susceptibility to air pollution in respiratory health

Abstract OBJECTIVE: There is growing interest in disentangling the health effects of spatially clustered social and physical environmental exposures and in exploring potential synergies among them, with particular attention directed to the combined effects of psychosocial stress and air pollution. Both exposures may be elevated in lower-income urban communities, and it has been hypothesized that […]

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