The largest health survey to-date of Marcellus Shale residents living near oil and gas development shows a clear pattern of negative health impacts associated with living near gas facilities. Titled Gas Patch Roulette: How Shale Gas Development Risks Public Health in Pennsylvania, the project surveyed 108 residents in 14 Pennsylvania counties, and conducted air and water tests at more than half of the households were surveys were completed.
Gas Patch Roulette’s main conclusions are:
•Chemicals associated with oil and gas development are present in communities where development occurs.
•Residents in these communities report that after gas development began, they developed new health problems—many of which are known consequences of exposure to these chemicals.
Other findings of the report include:
•Those living closer to gas facilities report higher rates of impaired health.
•Children living near gas development reported negative health impacts that seem atypical in the young.
•Chemicals detected by air and water sampling have been associated by state and federal agencies with both oil and gas development and with many of the health symptoms reported in the surveys.
“The clear association between gas development and public health impacts revealed by this research demands that states stop ignoring the problem and start developing the standards necessary to protect the public,” said President of Subra Company and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, Wilma Subra. She continued, “It’s clear that nationwide, because of regulatory inaction and a lack of corporate accountability, states are playing roulette with public health.”