EHP Blog

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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.

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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

Shale Gas Development and COVID-19: A Double Threat to the Elderly

The oil and gas industry continues to disrupt communities across America and globally. For many, specifically at-risk groups like the elderly, shale gas development is a direct threat to personal health. In 2020, the COVID-19 global pandemic has intensified these threats. 

Because shale gas development involves heavy machinery use and excessive diesel truck traffic, air pollutants near these sites can be... Read More

Can Air Pollution Impact Your Mental Health?

We’ve all heard the startling facts about air pollution before. World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants.

From smog hanging over cities to smoke inside the home, air pollution poses a major threat to our health and climate. The combined effects of outdoor and household air pollution cause about 7 million premature deaths every year, largely... Read More

Air Pollution and Respiratory Infections: Q&A

With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the country, you may be interested in learning whether exposure to air pollution might make you more susceptible to respiratory infections or cause your symptoms to be worse than they otherwise would have been. Following are some common questions and answers we’ve explored with respect to the link between air pollution and respiratory infections.

Question 1: If I’m exposed to air pollution, am I at higher risk of getting respiratory... Read More

How Methane Affects Your Health

Chances are you’ve already heard about methane at one time or another. Peat bogs, for example, give off a lot of methane. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, roughly 50 to 65 percent of global methane emissions are related to human activity.

In 2018, farm animals were responsible for something like 28 percent of methane emissions in the United States. Natural gas and... Read More

Why Do Spikes or Peaks in Emissions Matter?

Imagine this: You suffer from a health issue – nosebleeds, headaches, nausea, or even a more serious complication such as asthma – and you suspect this issue has something to do with a nearby shale gas well. You make a complaint to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), but you receive an unsatisfactory answer. They say the air quality is fine. What’s going on?

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Pregnant Women and Fracking: A Case for Special Concern

The shale gas industry releases fine particles, toxic fumes, and hazardous chemicals into the environment not just during fracking but at every stage of production. These pollutants can travel for miles. If you live near shale gas development activities, you may find these pollutants in the water, soil, and air around you. If you are exposed to them in large enough doses, they can affect your health.

One of... Read More