Groups want fracking waste included in health study, U. of Pittsburgh researchers slated to conduct 3-year study by Reid Frazier, March 5, 2021, State Impact
Environmental and public health advocates want the Pennsylvania Department of Health to expand the scope of a pair of studies on fracking and health effects.
The studies are looking into whether fracking has any relationship with the incidence of childhood cancer, asthma and poor birth outcomes.
The state funded the research after pressure from families in Washington County who have lost children to Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.
So far the studies are designed to examine only activities at oil and gas well pads and compressor stations. But groups representing the families met with Department of Health officials, including interim director Alison Beam, on Monday to ask that the study be expanded to include facilities that handle fracking waste, which can contain high levels of radioactive materials.
“We’re talking about waste from fracking wells, either in liquid form or in solid form that is frequently transported by truck and delivered frequently to landfills,” said Alison Steele, executive director of the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project. “There are concerns from these communities that that could be behind the recent spike in childhood cancers in the area.”
The Department of Health did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are conducting the studies, which are expected to take three years.
Steele praised the scientists leading the research, but doubted the study will change the picture about fracking’s impact on public health. Scientists have found correlations between fracking and the incidence of a variety of health problems, like asthma, heart problems, and pre-term birth and low birthweight.
“It’s a high quality research team. They’re sensitive to the concerns of the residents in these communities. But as with everything, time and resources are limited,” Except when it comes to the billions of dollars the public is throwing away subsidizing money-losing frac’ers and that judges give to brankrupt frac’ers in magic money to continue poisoning us, our environment and communities Steele said. “And we aren’t entirely sure that another epidemiological study will tell us anything we don’t already know.”
Dozens of children and young adults have been diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma and other forms of cancer in a four-county area outside Pittsburgh, where energy companies have drilled more than 3,500 wells since 2008. The cases were first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
But the health department reported in March 2020 that the incidence rates for childhood cancer in these counties “did not reach statistical significance.” That’s what captured health authorities always say when it comes to the oil and gas industry poisoning people, including in Canada.
The dishonest Marcellus Shale Coalition says that health and safety is the industry’s “top commitment” Frac patch commitments and promises are propaganda stunts and not to be trusted or believed.and that it looks forward to working collaboratively with the state as the studies progress. When frac’ers “work with” public authorities, they control outcomes to suit their wants, which are to keep poisoning us and being given billions of our tax dollars in subsidies and freebies. The state is Republican led; I highly doubt the Health agency is trustworthy. Besides, asking for studies, and more studies and more studies, just continues the frac poisonings and other harms. The group points to a state Department of Environmental Protection study showing “little or limited potential” for public exposure to radioactive waste from fracking.
Refer also to:
New Investigation: Fractured: The body burden of living near fracking: Families in western Pennsylvania exposed to harmful chemicals; regulations failing to protect mental, physical, social health. In Alberta, doctors will not investigate if we are poisoned by oil/gas/frac’ing; will not take a blood test without politician permission
Judge lets nasty frac’er escape bankruptcy, rules Chesapeake is worth $1 Billion more than the company does, sets free $7 Billion in debt, gives “big payday” to some, says to CEO Robert Lawler: “To remember that a lot of people have suffered a lot of pain for Chesapeake to have a second chance….”
Yet another frac’er bites sweet dust: Weatherford facing more than $10Billion in debt files for bankruptcy protection. US court order accepts restructuring plan, which includes Weatherford getting $2.2Billion in magic money; Stockholders to receive proportionate shares of the company’s **new stock** while operations continue as “normal.”