Project studying illnesses near Minisink gas compressor

Resident says family suffering maladies

TOWN OF MINISINK – Public health toxicologist David Brown does not call his work with people living around gas compressor stations “research.”

“When people are sick, you don’t do a study. You find out what they’re sick from,” he said.

Brown is a founder of the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, a nonprofit group begun in 2011, initially devoted to providing public health information and services related to natural gas extraction in Washington County.

Now the Environmental Health Project is studying 30 people living near the Millennium Pipeline gas compressor that was built in Minisink 18 months ago.    (READ MORE…)

http://gasvets.org/2015/03/16/747/

Tomblin Calls for Study of Increased Deaths from Gas Drilling Boom

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is calling for a study aimed at reversing the increase in workplace deaths that has accompanied the boom in natural gas drilling and production from the Marcellus Shale fields in Northern West Virginia. –

Read more at the Charleston Gazette….

New York Times publishes study and documents:   Natural Gas’s Toxic Waste

 

EXCERPT:  “Over the past nine months, The Times reviewed more than 30,000 pages of documents obtained through open records requests of state and federal agencies and by visiting various regional offices that oversee drilling in Pennsylvania. Some of the documents were leaked by state or federal officials. Here, the most significant documents are made available with annotations from The Times.

This study was provided to The Times by an E.P.A. official who said it shows that dilution of drilling waste does not always succeed in eliminating the health risks posed by that waste. The study is marked confidential and was conducted on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute in 1990. It found a potential increased risk of cancer among people who often eat fish from waters where drilling waste is discharged. The study is relevant because state regulators in Pennsylvania have said that dilution is effectively removing the risks posed by drilling waste that is discharged into rivers. Importantly, this study found an increased risk of cancer when drilling waste was dumped into a larger body of water than Pennsylvania rivers. Furthermore, state records indicate that the radium levels found in Pennsylvania wastewater are much higher than those used in this study. Radium, for example, was found in Pennsylvania at levels over 18 times the number used in the this study. It should be noted, however, that this study did not detail actual cases of increased cancer. Rather, it modeled potential increases in cancer rates as a result of radium-laced drilling waste being discharged into large waterways.
In an e-mail exchange with The Times, Anne F. Meinhold, one of the lead authors of of the study, wrote, “I suspect that the dilution rates in a river would not be as high as for the open water discharges we considered.” She cautioned, however: “The bioaccumulation factors and ingestion rates we used were based on data collected in the Gulf of Mexico. I don’t know if bioaccumulation factors for freshwater fish would be similar or if freshwater fishermen could be assumed to eat as much fish caught over their lifetime.”

Asked about the study, Bill Bush, a spokesman for the American Petroluem Institute, said, “We have no reason to challenge what’s in the study, but to confirm it’s accurate would require someone with expertise to go over it and thoroughly digest what it says in light of any additional related research done over the past 20 years.” Asked to review the study, an expert on human health and ecological risk analysis said that it clearly shows that the drilling waste is not sufficiently diluted in some cases. As a result, the radioactivity levels left behind in receiving waters come close to reaching the threshold at which the E.P.A., under federal Superfund rules, requires a cleanup, the risk expert said.”

 

 

 

 

http://gasvets.org/2015/01/05/737/

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 risk compared to thalidomide and asbestos in Walport report

EXCERPT:  Fracking carries potential risks on a par with those from thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos, warns a report produced by the government’s chief scientific adviser.

The flagship annual report by the UK’s chief scientist, Mark Walport, argues that history holds many examples of innovations that were adopted hastily and later had serious negative environmental and health impacts.  (Read more…)

http://gasvets.org/2014/12/01/716/

SMITH CASE STUDY:  Blackout in the Gas Patch: Pennsylvania Residents are Left in the Dark on Health and Enforcement

From EarthWorks Action’s  study:

Our research on gas wells and facilities in the area revealed several pollution events, problems that persisted for long periods of time, and plausible reasons why the development would have compromised air and water quality. In addition, there were instances when the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) gave operators the benefit of the doubt about activities and incidents. Yet it was only because residents filed complaints that DEP conducted some inspections and investigations and discovered violations. – See more at: http://www.earthworksaction.org/library/detail/blackout_case_study_4_angel_and_wayne_smith#.VEVm6PnF9MU

http://gasvets.org/2014/10/20/705/

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/

‘Shocking’ underground water loss in US drought

This NASA study looks specifically at the Colorado River Basin and to quote one of the study’s authors,

“The Colorado River Basin is the water lifeline of the western United States,” said senior author Jay Famiglietti, senior water cycle scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

He said the basin, like others worldwide, was relying on groundwater to make up for the limited surface-water supply.

“We found a surprisingly high and long-term reliance on groundwater to bridge the gap between supply and demand,” he said.

“Combined with declining snowpack and population growth, this will likely threaten the long-term ability of the basin to meet its water allocation commitments to the seven basin states and to Mexico,” Famiglietti said.

Read more….

http://gasvets.org/2014/07/24/669/

Wolf says he would ‘restore trust’ in PA’s health                                                 department drilling policies

As StateImpact Pennsylvania has previously reported, two retired state health department workers claim employees were instructed not to respond to phone calls from people who complained about natural gas operations.

In 2012, employees were sent a list of 19 drilling-related “buzzwords” and directed to forward phone calls from people who used those words to the Bureau of Epidemiology. Employees were also required to fill out a permission form and get high-level approval before attending any meetings on topics related to Marcellus Shale development. (Read More….)

http://gasvets.org/2014/07/14/647/

Physicians, Scientists & Engineers Video on Fracking and Worker Health:

Excellent video about the impacts of fracking and related activities on worker health.  This is particularly interesting in light of silicosis and all of what NIOSH and OSHA have known for years.  Please review our timeline of federal regulations, including what  the Feds knew in 1988-89.

http://gasvets.org/2014/06/04/573/

The AFL-CIO  Issues 23rd Annual  “Death on the Job Report”  and fracking in North Dakota shows alarming data.

  • The fatality rate in the mining and oil and gas extraction sector in North Dakota was an alarming 104.0 per 100,000, more than six times the national fatality rate of 15.9 per 100,000 in this industry; and the construction sector fatality rate in North Dakota was 97.4 per 100,000, almost ten times the national fatality rate of 9.9 per 100,000 for construction.  Read much, much more…..

http://gasvets.org/2014/05/17/552/

Wilma Subra: Minisink, NY Environmental and Human Health Impacts

Wilma Subra Exposes Some Truths about the Minisink, NY Compressor and Gas Fired Power Plant.

http://gasvets.org/2014/05/03/502/

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