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More reports of human health symptoms linked to natural gas operations

Amy Mall

Posted January 16, 2011

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I've blogged before about very alarming health symptoms in families who live near oil and gas operations. Here are two more recent reports:

  • Pennsylvania: Phyllis Carr reports that her family has suffered headaches, sore throats, nose sores and nose bleeds since natural gas operations began near her home. She has detected noxious fumes, "like paint thinner." She reports that her family had to evacuate its home six or seven times last year when alarms went off, but no one has ever met with them to explain what the alarms mean.
  • Colorado: Beth Strudley reports that first her sons, and then she and her husband, have suffered from severe rashes, nose bleeds and blackouts. Their physician has directed the family to move as soon as possible.

These symptoms--nosebleeds, rashes, headaches, passing out--have been reported by other families who live near oil and gas operations. We are pleased that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing its rules for dangerous air pollutants emitted by oil and gas operations. In addition, to protect human health, it is essential that Congress close loopholes in the Clean Air Act that allow the oil and gas industry to emit dangerous levels of hazardous pollutants known to harm human health--pollutants that would be subject to national standards in any other industry.

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Harold McGowenJan 17 2011 12:05 AM

The information you report is anecdotal, unsubstantiated, with no evidence of causation. Here is another anecdote: II have been living and working in and around oil and gas production operations for 35 years in Texas and I don't recall anyone ever having any health problems related to these operations. In fact, my neighborhood had several wells right in amongst the houses and nobody complained. A natural gas production facility is a very clean operation and is in fact subject to EPA regulations, requires vapor recovery systems, and does not emit anything like paint thinner.

John LiffeeJan 17 2011 10:58 AM

@Harold - Sorry, but there's enough science and concern expressed by legitimate experts to make unsupportable a flip, blanket denial of the potential for harm inherent in gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing.

Not to mention a whole slew of truly scary reports from the gas fields, from people we've no reason to suspect are anything but credible.

T HickJan 18 2011 06:35 PM

Natural gas drilling in Texas???

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