EHP Blog

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Shale Gas Emissions: Advocating for Health-Protective Policies

The last few decades have seen a shale gas development boom across the U.S., accounting for the majority of the new growth in oil and gas facilities, now estimated at 1.3 million. These shale gas facilities include active production wells, gas compressor stations, and processing plants and have spurred the development of other infrastructure, such as pipelines, storage facilities, injection wells, waste sites, trucking... Read More

Understanding PFAS, the “Forever Chemicals”

Every day, nearly every American is exposed to a select group of toxic substances that has been linked to a wide variety of health conditions like cancers, endocrine disruption, and increased susceptibility to infectious diseases like COVID-19. 

But what are PFAS and where are they found? How do these toxic chemicals affect your health and... Read More

PA Department of Health Visits Communities and Families Impacted by Shale Gas Development

On July 27, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) visited communities and people impacted by shale gas development (fracking) in southwestern Pennsylvania, learning first-hand how the industry has harmed health and changed the lives of families forever. Alison Beam (Acting Secretary of Health for the DOH) took the tour, as did Raphael (Ray) Barishansky (Deputy Secretary of Health Preparedness and Community Protection), Peter... Read More

Spotlight: Siri Lawson (Part Two)

Click here for Part One of this two-part series.

In 2009, Siri and Wayne Lawson moved into their current and forever home in Warren County, Pennsylvania. Eleven years later, they’ve yet to fully unpack their belongings.

Before moving into their current home, the Lawsons endured decades of negative health impacts while living in multiple homes in Pennsylvania and New York. Oil... Read More

Spotlight: Siri Lawson (Part One)

Siri Lawson and her husband Wayne currently live in Warren County, Pennsylvania. The county is home to 71 active oil and gas producers and, since 1981, has hosted more than 17,000 wells. The Lawsons have lived here for 11 years and have yet to fully unpack their belongings.

This is the fourth home they’ve shared throughout their marriage, previously owning two... Read More

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Shale Gas Development

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) have become an increasingly popular topic in the science world as of late. Dr. Shanna Swan’s recently released book, Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race, sheds light on the health impacts of EDCs. 

In addition to Dr. Swan’s book, new studies and growing global movements to... Read More

Spotlight: Wesley Silva

The borough of Marianna in Washington County, PA, has a total area of two square miles and a population of just under 500 residents. A drive through Marianna showcases pockets of residential areas — modest ranchers and simple brick homes mixed with wood-framed farmhouses — tucked between spans of trees and open fields. Recently, Marianna entered the spotlight when a shale gas producer came to town.

Wesley Silva, a current pastor at First Baptist Church of Smock and former Council... Read More

Do-It-Yourself Air Filters Improve Air Quality in Area Homes

As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The greater Pittsburgh region is blessed with a large number of nonprofit organizations and grassroots initiatives in a variety of communities, which proves to be a fantastic... Read More

Examining the Impacts of Air Pollution On Children

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the cause of about seven million deaths per year, primarily due to stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections. About 91% of the global population lives in areas with dangerous air quality.

... Read More

Setback Distances: The Regulations We Need

Shale gas development is a threat to public health, one that increases with closer proximity to shale gas facilities.

The distances between shale gas facilities and structures or buildings (like homes and schools) are referred to as “setback distances.” In the... Read More