EHP Blog

Welcome to the EHP Blog for news and information.

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?

... Read More

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

Shale Gas Development and Childhood Cancer: Should I Worry About My Kids?

On October 7, 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) held a community meeting in Canonsburg, PA, to discuss whether a cluster of rare childhood cancers (called Ewing sarcoma) exists in the Canon-McMillan School District in southwestern Pennsylvania. The event was attended by more than 200 concerned citizens, some of them parents or relatives of children who had... Read More

Is My Health at Risk from Shale Gas Development?

Over the past decade, southwestern Pennsylvania has become a web of nearly 2,000 wells and hundreds more storage facilities, pipelines, and compressor stations that go with them. Soon, an immense plastics cracker plant will be added to the mix, requiring more wells and more pipelines to feed it.

Many residents live dangerously close to shale gas development.... Read More