Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fracking Fumes: Natural Gas Development Worsens Air Quality

April 11, 2012
Miriam Rotkin-Ellman

Smoggy skies, air quality alerts, burning eyes, headaches, respiratory problems, elevated cancer risk…  Sounds just like Los Angeles or another urban center, right? Not this time.  These air quality problems are being reported in rural America.  What’s going on? An explosion in natural gas drilling is bringing industrial air pollution into people’s backyards. Without strong safeguards from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), communities across the country will pay the price with their health.

Natural gas production releases an alphabet soup of pollutants into the air which are bad news for everyone – the family next door, the neighboring towns, and ultimately, communities all over the world feeling the impacts of climate change.  This is a new and growing industry, but here’s what we know so far:
Local: Air quality testing in the areas around natural gas wells and processing equipment – in ColoradoTexas, andNew Mexico - have shown levels of pollutants, such as benzene, xylene,  1,3-butadiene, and other hydrocarbons, that can cause respiratory and neurological impacts and increase the risk of cancer. A recently published study looking at air quality data collected in rural Colorado found that these health risks increased the closer you got to the gas wells. Diesel emissions from heavy machinery and trucks also pollute the air at a local level.
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1 comment:

  1. Image of the Year!

    New York,NY

    ReplyDelete is a medium for concerned citizens to express their opinions in regards to 'Fracking.' We are Representatives of Democracy. We are Fractivists. We are you.