EHP Blog

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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

The Health Behind Plastics Cracker Plants

The plastics cracker complex that Royal Dutch Shell is now building in Beaver County has been touted as a jobs creator and an overall benefit to the economy of southwestern Pennsylvania. But this cracker plant, which is the size of almost 300 football fields, has the potential to harm the health of the entire region for years to come. Given that at least three more complexes are being proposed for the tri-state area, the risks to... Read More

The Health Effects Registry: Please Help Us to Help You

Have you been experiencing frequent coughs or headaches? Have you noticed a funny smell in the air, or does your well water taste different? Has your child been sick? Your animals? You may be wondering whether there’s something in your environment that’s the source of these potential health issues.

Shale gas development (or fracking) has been linked to any number of... Read More