- Natural Gas Operations from a Public Health Perspective (September 2011) Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal, Taylor & Francis Online Volume 17, Issue 5, Sept 20, 2011 Theo Colborn, Carol Kwiatkowski, Kim Schultz & Mary Bachran
These results indicate that many chemicals used during the fracturing and drilling stages of gas operations may have long-term health effects that are not immediately expressed. In addition, an example was provided of waste evaporation pit residuals that contained numerous chemicals on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) lists of hazardous substances. The discussion highlights the difficulty of developing effective water quality monitoring programs. To protect public health we recommend full disclosure of the contents of all products, extensive air and water monitoring, coordinated environmental/human health studies, and regulation of fracturing under the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act.
- The Rush to Drill for Natural Gas: A Public Health Cautionary Tale (May 2011) American Journal of Public Health , American Public Health Association May 2011, Vol 101, No. 5, pp 784-785, Madelon L. Finkel, PhD, and Adam Law, MD
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 shale (fracking)—has made gas extraction much more economically feasible. However, this technique poses a threat to the environment and to the public’s health. There is evidence that many of the chemicals used in fracking can damage the lungs, liver, kidneys, blood, and brain. We discuss the controversial technique of fracking and raise the issue of how to balance the need for energy with the protection of the public’s health.