Pollution associated with shale gas development may contain nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), particulate matter (PM), hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), endocrine disrupters (EDCs), and naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs).
All populations need to be aware of environmental exposure hazards and need to take steps to limit exposure as much as possible. However, this is paramount when working with vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women, children, those with weakened immune systems and/or chronic medical conditions, and workers who labor outdoors. Such patients should be advised to pay close attention to air quality advisories (which can be accessed at airnow.gov) and to limit their outdoor exposure on moderate and worse air quality days, especially if living or working within 1 ¼ miles of shale gas infrastructure. Outdoor air brought indoors through HVAC systems should be efficiently and effectively filtered.
If living with well water, the water should be monitored and tested. It should not be ingested or used on the skin if contamination is suspected. EHP can provide you with pamphlets for your patients with advice on limiting exposure and tracking symptoms: Protecting Your Health from UOGD and Tips for Talking to Your Provider.