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 symptoms, illnesses, or diseases. Studies have shown that if you live within five miles of fracking activities, then you may have experienced one or more of the health outcomes described above or some other negative effect. Many chemicals used in fracking are known to be toxic to humans and animals, and more than 50 are known to cause cancer.
Health Effects Registry Helps All of Us
In an effort to better understand your experiences, the Environmental Health Project (EHP) has taken the first steps in supporting research into public health in fracking communities by creating the Shale Oil and Gas Health Effects Registry and Resource Network.
The Health Effects Registry asks you to answer a series of questions about your environmental exposures, general health, and quality of life. More specifically, it records and tracks your health as it relates to your exposure to shale gas activities. Some possible sources of shale gas development exposure include:
The registry also gives you the chance to share with EHP and other researchers the air quality test results and health records that you have collected in your own search for answers.
Your survey answers and any documents you submit are handled with the highest level of respect for your privacy. You have the power to choose how you make your information available to EHP and researchers through your registry privacy settings. Your personal information – including name, email address, and any other personally identifiable information – is kept separate and inaccessible to researchers and EHP unless you dictate otherwise.
EHP has heard from many people like you who live within a community heavily impacted by fracking and are concerned about their health. As a member of such a community, your willingness to share your experiences with us through the Health Effects Registry will make a tremendous difference in our search for answers. Please share your story and invite your friends to share theirs.