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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Water pollution risk associated with natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale

Abstract Environmental concerns surrounding drilling for gas are intense due to expansion of shale gas drilling operations. Controversy surrounding the impact of drilling on air and water quality has pitted industry and lease-holders against individuals and groups concerned with environmental protection and public health. Because animals often are exposed continually to air, soil, and groundwater […]

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Geochemical evidence for possible natural migration of Marcellus Formation brine to shallow aquifers in Pennsylvania

Abstract The debate surrounding the safety of shale gas development in the Appalachian Basin has generated increased awareness of drinking water quality in rural communities. Concerns include the potential for migration of stray gas, metal-rich formation brines, and hydraulic fracturing and/or flowback fluids to drinking water aquifers. A critical question common to these environmental risks […]

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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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Potential contaminant pathways from hydraulically fractured shale to aquifers

Abstract Hydraulic fracturing of deep shale beds to develop natural gas has caused concern regarding the potential for various forms of water pollution. Two potential pathways-advective transport through bulk media and preferential flow through fractures-could allow the transport of contaminants from the fractured shale to aquifers. There is substantial geologic evidence that natural vertical flow […]

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Missing from the table: role of the environmental public health community in governmental advisory commissions related to Marcellus Shale drilling.

Abstract BACKGROUND: The Marcellus Shale is a vast natural gas field underlying parts of Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. Rapid development of this field has been enabled by advances in hydrofracking techniques that include injection of chemical and physical agents deep underground. Response to public concern about potential adverse environmental and health impacts […]

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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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Impacts of gas drilling on human and animal health

Abstract Environmental concerns surrounding drilling for gas are intense due to expansion of shale gas drilling operations. Controversy surrounding the impact of drilling on air and water quality has pitted industry and lease-holders against individuals and groups concerned with environmental protection and public health. Because animals often are exposed continually to air, soil, and groundwater […]

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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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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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