Respiratory and skin complaints more likely within 1 mile of a gas well….

From the January 2015 issue of the scientific journal, “Environmental Health Perspectives” come these excerpts from a health study of 180 households (492 persons) with ground-fed water wells living within 1-2 miles of fracking in Washington County, PA:

“Gas well proximity for each household was compared with the prevalence and frequency of reported dermal, respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, and neurological symptoms.

Results: The number of reported health symptoms per person was higher among residents living < 1 km (mean ± SD, 3.27 ± 3.72) compared with > 2 km from the nearest gas well (mean ± SD, 1.60 ± 2.14; p = 0.0002).

… reported skin conditions were more common in households < 1 km compared with > 2 km from the nearest gas well….

Upper respiratory symptoms were also more frequently reported in persons living in households < 1 km from gas wells (39%) compared with households 1–2 km or > 2 km from the nearest well (31 and 18%, respectively) (p = 0.004).

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that natural gas drilling activities could be associated with increased reports of dermal and upper respiratory symptoms in nearby communities; these results support the need for further research into health effects of natural gas extraction activities.”

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/123/1/ehp.1307732.alt.pdf

http://gasvets.org/2015/01/05/734/

Fracking sand in oilfields stirs up a serious health risk for workers

Health concerns about oil field fracking have been focused on the mixed brew of chemicals injected into wells. But it is another innocuous-sounding substance — sand — that poses a more serious danger to workers.

Government overseers of workplace safety first highlighted the problem three years ago and issued a hazard alert a year later warning that high levels of fine quartz sand around fracking operations could lead to silicosis and other lung illnesses.  (Read more….)

http://gasvets.org/2014/12/16/730/

Fracking workers exposed to dangerous amounts of benzene, study says

(NB GasVets.org:   Although this article was first published  9/11/14,  it’s received little attention.  For more on worker health and threats to it,  see  GasVets’  Timeline of Federal Regulations which includes data from  “What They Knew in 1988-89,  and  the 2011  Minority Congressional report which lists 650 fracking chemicals that are known- or potential-carcinogens,  If you are a GasVet worker or a resident of  “Gasland”  who believes you’ve suffered harm from fracking,  please participate in Damascus Citizens’  Health and Community Impacts Survey.)

“Some workers at oil and gas sites where fracking occurs are routinely exposed to high levels of benzene, a colorless gas that can cause cancer, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The agency, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends that people limit their benzene exposure to an average of 0.1 of a part per million during their shift. But when NIOSH researchers measured the amount of airborne benzene that oil and gas workers were exposed to when they opened hatches atop tanks at well sites, 15 out of 17 samples were over that amount.

Benzene, a component of crude oil, “is of major concern because it can be acutely toxic to the nervous system, liver, and kidneys at high concentrations,” the study authors wrote. As the CDC explains, benzene interferes with the normal workings of cells.

‘It can cause bone marrow not to produce enough red blood cells, which can lead to anemia,” according to the CDC. “Also, it can damage the immune system by changing blood levels of antibodies and causing the loss of white blood cells.’”

http://gasvets.org/2014/10/08/693/

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