Time filter

Source Type

A University of Oklahoma Civil Engineering and Environmental Science Professor Robert Nairn and his co-authors have conducted a collaborative study that suggests exposure to trace metals from potatoes grown in soil irrigated with waters from the Potosi mining region in Bolivia, home to the world's largest silver deposit, may put residents at risk of non-cancer health illnesses. "In this high mountain desert, water is a critically precious resource and the use of metal-polluted waters for irrigation may have substantial detrimental impacts on the lives of subsistence farmers," said Bill Strosnider, researcher on the project. Potatoes are the primary dietary staple in the surrounding communities. The lack of water for quality irrigation throughout this arid region results in farmers using contaminated waters, leading to health risks from contaminated potatoes eaten locally or shipped to outlying areas. For children, ingestion of arsenic through potatoes was 9.1 to 71.8 times higher than the minimum risk level and ingestion of cadmium was 3.0 to 31.5 times higher than the minimum risk level. "The fact that the hazard quotients of risk were so high through only one exposure route is concerning," said Robin Taylor Wilson, Penn State College of Medicine professor and lead epidemiologist for the study. "Children in this region are exposed to contaminants through routes other than potatoes. If we consider these additional routes of exposure, the estimated risks will likely be much higher, but without further research, there is no way of knowing how much higher these risks might be." The hazard quotient is the ratio of estimated specific exposure to a single chemical over a specified period to the estimated daily exposure level at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur. Hazard quotients about one suggest the possibility of adverse non-cancer health risks. The minimum risk levels are established by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. "Our findings allow the research community insight into the potential human and environmental impact that vast active and abandoned mining operations may pose all across the Andean region," said Alan Garrido, researcher on the project.


A University of Oklahoma Civil Engineering and Environmental Science Professor Robert Nairn and his co-authors have conducted a collaborative study that suggests exposure to trace metals from potatoes grown in soil irrigated with waters from the Potosi mining region in Bolivia, home to the world's largest silver deposit, may put residents at risk of non-cancer health illnesses. "In this high mountain desert, water is a critically precious resource and the use of metal-polluted waters for irrigation may have substantial detrimental impacts on the lives of subsistence farmers," said Bill Strosnider, researcher on the project. Potatoes are the primary dietary staple in the surrounding communities. The lack of water for quality irrigation throughout this arid region results in farmers using contaminated waters, leading to health risks from contaminated potatoes eaten locally or shipped to outlying areas. For children, ingestion of arsenic through potatoes was 9.1 to 71.8 times higher than the minimum risk level and ingestion of cadmium was 3.0 to 31.5 times higher than the minimum risk level. "The fact that the hazard quotients of risk were so high through only one exposure route is concerning," said Robin Taylor Wilson, Penn State College of Medicine professor and lead epidemiologist for the study. "Children in this region are exposed to contaminants through routes other than potatoes. If we consider these additional routes of exposure, the estimated risks will likely be much higher, but without further research, there is no way of knowing how much higher these risks might be." The hazard quotient is the ratio of estimated specific exposure to a single chemical over a specified period to the estimated daily exposure level at which no adverse health effects are likely to occur. Hazard quotients about one suggest the possibility of adverse non-cancer health risks. The minimum risk levels are established by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. "Our findings allow the research community insight into the potential human and environmental impact that vast active and abandoned mining operations may pose all across the Andean region," said Alan Garrido, researcher on the project. This study was funded through a collaboration with Engineers in Action, a non-profit entity dedicated to improving the availability of low-cost high-impact engineering projects for clean water in developing countries. Engineers in Action is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and La Paz, Bolivia. A paper on this research titled, "Metal-contaminated potato crops and potential human health risk in Bolivian mining highlands," has been published in the scientific journal, Environmental Geochemistry and Health, at DOI: 10.1007/s10653-017-9943-4.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.prlog.org

-- Eating fish and seafood with higher levels of mercury may be linked to a higher risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 22 to 28, 2017. However, fish and seafood consumption as a regular part of the diet was not associated with ALS."For most people, eating fish is part of a healthy diet," said study author Elijah Stommel, MD, PhD, of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. "But questions remain about the possible impact of mercury in fish."While the exact cause of ALS is unknown, some previous studies have suggested mercury to be a risk factor for the disease. In the United States, the primary source of exposure to mercury is through eating fish contaminated with the neurotoxic metal.Often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS is a progressive neurological disease that takes away the ability of nerve cells to interact with the body's muscles. Early symptoms of the disease can include muscle twitching and weakness in a limb. It typically develops into complete paralysis of the body, including the muscles needed to speak, eat and breathe. There is no cure for ALS, and eventually the disease is fatal.For the study, researchers surveyed 518 people, 294 of whom had ALS, and 224 of whom didn't, on how much fish and seafood they ate. Participants reported the types of fish they ate, and whether they were purchased from stores or caught when they were fishing.Researchers estimated the annual exposure to mercury by looking up the average mercury levels in the types of fish and the frequency that the participants reported eating them. Swordfish and shark are examples of fish that are considered high in mercury, while salmon and sardines typically have lower levels. Researchers also measured the levels of mercury found in toenail samples from participants with ALS and compared those levels to people without ALS.The study found that among participants who ate fish and seafood regularly, those in the top 25 percent for estimated annual mercury intake were at double the risk for ALS compared to those with lower levels. A total of 61 percent of people with ALS were in the top 25 percent of estimated mercury intake, compared to 44 percent of people who did not have ALS. They also found that higher mercury levels measured in toenail clippings were associated with an increased risk of ALS. Those in the top 25 percent of mercury levels, based on fish-related intake or toenail clippings, were at a two-fold higher risk of ALS. These findings need to be replicated in additional studies.The authors emphasize that this study does not negate the fact that eating fish provides many health benefits. However, the study suggests that the public may want to choose species that are known to have a lower mercury content, and avoid consuming fish caught in waters where mercury contamination is well-recognized. More research is needed before fish-consumption guidelines for neurodegenerative illness can be made.Currently, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) health recommendations for women of childbearing age and children are to eat two to three weekly meals of species such as salmon or sardines that have low mercury, but are also high in nutrients such as potentially beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. The FDA recommends avoiding fish with the highest mercury levels, such as shark and swordfish. Check for waterbody-specific fish advisories when consuming fish caught by family or friends.The study was supported by the Diamond Endowment Fund, the ALS Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the Dartmouth SYNERGY Clinical and Translational Science Institute and donor funds from the French and Scheuer Families.Learn more about ALS at www.aan.com/patients ( http://patients.aan.com/ ).The American Academy of Neurology is the world's largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 32,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit AAN.com ( http://www.aan.com/ ) or find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.


News Article | February 20, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

MINNEAPOLIS - Eating fish and seafood with higher levels of mercury may be linked to a higher risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 69th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 22 to 28, 2017. However, fish and seafood consumption as a regular part of the diet was not associated with ALS. "For most people, eating fish is part of a healthy diet," said study author Elijah Stommel, MD, PhD, of Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. "But questions remain about the possible impact of mercury in fish." While the exact cause of ALS is unknown, some previous studies have suggested mercury to be a risk factor for the disease. In the United States, the primary source of exposure to mercury is through eating fish contaminated with the neurotoxic metal. Often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS is a progressive neurological disease that takes away the ability of nerve cells to interact with the body's muscles. Early symptoms of the disease can include muscle twitching and weakness in a limb. It typically develops into complete paralysis of the body, including the muscles needed to speak, eat and breathe. There is no cure for ALS, and eventually the disease is fatal. For the study, researchers surveyed 518 people, 294 of whom had ALS, and 224 of whom didn't, on how much fish and seafood they ate. Participants reported the types of fish they ate, and whether they were purchased from stores or caught when they were fishing. Researchers estimated the annual exposure to mercury by looking up the average mercury levels in the types of fish and the frequency that the participants reported eating them. Swordfish and shark are examples of fish that are considered high in mercury, while salmon and sardines typically have lower levels. Researchers also measured the levels of mercury found in toenail samples from participants with ALS and compared those levels to people without ALS. The study found that among participants who ate fish and seafood regularly, those in the top 25 percent for estimated annual mercury intake were at double the risk for ALS compared to those with lower levels. A total of 61 percent of people with ALS were in the top 25 percent of estimated mercury intake, compared to 44 percent of people who did not have ALS. They also found that higher mercury levels measured in toenail clippings were associated with an increased risk of ALS. Those in the top 25 percent of mercury levels, based on fish-related intake or toenail clippings, were at a two-fold higher risk of ALS. These findings need to be replicated in additional studies. The authors emphasize that this study does not negate the fact that eating fish provides many health benefits. However, the study suggests that the public may want to choose species that are known to have a lower mercury content, and avoid consuming fish caught in waters where mercury contamination is well-recognized. More research is needed before fish-consumption guidelines for neurodegenerative illness can be made. Currently, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) health recommendations for women of childbearing age and children are to eat two to three weekly meals of species such as salmon or sardines that have low mercury, but are also high in nutrients such as potentially beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. The FDA recommends avoiding fish with the highest mercury levels, such as shark and swordfish. Check for waterbody-specific fish advisories when consuming fish caught by family or friends. The study was supported by the Diamond Endowment Fund, the ALS Association, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the Dartmouth SYNERGY Clinical and Translational Science Institute and donor funds from the French and Scheuer Families. Learn more about ALS at http://www. . The American Academy of Neurology is the world's largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 32,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www. or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube.


Naik S.L.,Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology | Year: 2016

Research on asbestos exposure in Libby, MT, has focused on occupational exposure in vermiculite mining and processing, but less attention has been paid to asbestos-related mortality among community members without vermiculite mining occupational history. Our study reports on asbestos-related mortality in Libby over 33 years (1979–2011) while controlling for occupational exposure. We calculated sex-specific 33-year standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for Libby residents who died from 1979 to 2011 with an asbestos-related cause of death. Decedent address at time of death was geocoded to confirm inclusion in the Libby County Division. We controlled for past W.R. Grace employment by including and then removing them from the SMR analysis. Six hundred and ninety-four decedents were identified as having at least one asbestos-related cause of death and residing in our study area boundary. Statistically significant (P<0.05) 33-year SMRs, both before and after controlling for W.R. Grace employment, were found for: male and female non-malignant respiratory diseases, female COPD, and asbestosis for both sexes combined. Eighty-five men and two women were matched to employment records. We observed elevated asbestos-related mortality rates among males and females. SMR results for asbestosis were high for both sexes, even after controlling for past W.R. Grace employment. These results suggest that the general population may be experiencing asbestos-related effects, not just former vermiculite workers. Additional research is needed to determine whether SMRs remain elevated after controlling for secondary exposure, such as living with vermiculite workers.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication, 30 March 2016; doi:10.1038/jes.2016.18. © 2016 Nature America, Inc.


McEwen B.S.,Rockefeller University | Tucker P.,Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2011

Emerging evidence suggests that psychosocial stress and toxicants may interact to modify health risks. Stress-toxicant interactions could be important in chemical risk assessment, but these interactions are poorly understood and additional research is necessary to advance their application. Environmental health research can increase knowledge of these interactions by exploring hypotheses on allostatic load, which measures thecumulative impacts of stress across multiple physiological pathways, using knowledge about physiological pathways for stressrelated health effects, and evidence of common target pathways for both stress and toxicants. In this article, critical physiological pathways for stressrelated health effects are discussed, with specific attention to allostatic load and stress-toxicant interactions, concluding with research suggestionsfor potential applications of such research in chemical risk assessment.


Goncharov A.,University at Albany | Pavuk M.,Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry | Foushee H.R.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Carpenter D.O.,University at Albany
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2011

Background: Residents of Anniston, Alabama, live near a Monsanto plant that manufactured polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from 1929 to 1971 and are relatively heavily exposed. Objectives: The goal of this study was to determine the relationship, if any, between blood pressure and levels of total serum PCBs, several PCB groups with common actions or structure, 35 individual PCB congeners, and nine chlorinated pesticides. Methods: Linear regression analysis was used to determine the relationships between blood pressure and serum levels of the various contaminants after adjustment for age, body mass index, sex, race, smoking, and exercise in 394 Anniston residents who were not taking antihypertensive medication. Results: Other than age, total serum PCB concentration was the strongest determinant of blood pressure of the covariates studied. We found the strongest associations for those PCB congeners that had multiple ortho chlorines. We found the associations over the full range of blood pressure as well as in those subjects whose blood pressure was in the normal range. The chlorinated pesticides showed no consistent relationship to blood pressure. Conclusions: In this cross-sectional study, serum concentrations of PCBs, especially those congeners with multiple ortho chlorines, were strongly associated with both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.


Couch S.R.,Pennsylvania State University | Coles C.J.,Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2011

Psychosocial stress has emerged as an important consideration in managing environmental health risks. Stress has adverse impacts on health and may interact with environmental hazards to increase health risk. This article's primary objective was to explore psychosocial stress related to environmental contamination. We hypothesized that knowledge about stress should be used in conjunction with chemical risk assessment to inform environmental risk management decisions. Knowledge of psychosocial stress at contaminated sites began by exploring the relationships among social capital, collectiveefficacy, and contamination at the community level. We discussed stress at the family and individual levels, focusing on stress proliferation, available resources, and coping styles and mechanisms. We then made recommendations on how to improve the use of information on psychosocial stress in environmental decision-making, particularly in communities facing chronic technological disasters.


News Article | March 30, 2016
Site: cleantechnica.com

Many have long speculated about fracking and its possible negative impact on drinking water. Recent research released today from Stanford scientists finds for the first time that fracking operations near Pavillion, Wyoming have had a clear impact on underground sources of drinking water. The research paints a picture of unsafe practices, including the dumping of drilling and production fluids containing diesel fuel, high chemical concentrations in unlined pits, and a lack of adequate cement barriers to protect groundwater. The new study has been published in Environmental Science & Technology. “This is a wake-up call,” said lead author Dominic DiGiulio, a visiting scholar at Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. “It’s perfectly legal to inject stimulation fluids into underground drinking water resources. This may be causing widespread impacts on drinking water resources.” As part of the so-called frackwater they inject into the ground, drilling companies use proprietary blends that can include potentially dangerous chemicals such as benzene and xylene. When the wastewater comes back up after use, it often includes those and a range of potentially dangerous natural chemicals. “Decades of activities at Pavillion put people at risk. These are not best practices for most drillers,” said co-author Rob Jackson, the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Provostial Professor at the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. The well field has gone through several corporate hands since the 1960s, but various fracking operators have used acid and hydraulic fracturing treatments at the same depths as water wells in the area. “There are no rules that would stop a company from doing this anywhere else,” said Jackson, who is also a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and at the Precourt Institute for Energy. The study is part of Jackson’s ongoing research on shallow fracking and its impact on groundwater. He and his colleagues have done various studies across the United States and in the Pavillion Field, an area of Wyoming’s Wind River Basin pocked by more than 180 oil and gas wells, some of them plugged and abandoned. In 2008, the residents of Pavillion complained of a foul taste and odor in their drinking water and questioned whether it was related to physical ailments. In 2011, the US EPA issued a preliminary report putting the tiny town at the center of a growing fracking debate. However, the EPA report, which linked shallow fracking to toxic compounds in aquifers, was met with heavy criticism from the drilling industry, as well as state oil and gas regulators. Three years later, having never finalized its findings, EPA turned its investigation over to Wyoming. The state released a series of reports without firm conclusions, and, as of last month, has said it has no firm plans to take further action. In the meantime, the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has advised area residents to avoid bathing, cooking, or drinking with water from their taps. The new Stanford study documents the occurrence of fracking chemicals in underground sources of drinking water, as well as their impact on that water, which is making it unsafe for use. “Geologic and groundwater conditions at Pavillion are not unique in the Rocky Mountain region,” said DiGiulio. “This suggests there may be widespread impact to underground sources of drinking water as a result of unconventional oil and gas extraction.” To avoid what happened in Pavillion, Jackson and DiGiulio suggest further investigation and regulations to limit shallow fracking and require deeper protective casings. Wyoming does not require the cementing of surface casings, and only two US states, Colorado and Texas, have special requirements for shallow hydraulic fracturing. Safeguards mean little, however, if they are not enforced – something the EPA has done a mixed job with, according to Jackson. “The EPA has consistently walked away from investigations where people and the environment appear to have been harmed” by fracking’s impact on groundwater, Jackson said in the press announcement. Image via Stanford    Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”   Come attend CleanTechnica’s 1st “Cleantech Revolution Tour” event → in Berlin, Germany, April 9–10.   Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.  


News Article | February 17, 2017
Site: www.forbes.com

Health and safety concerns about fracking are huge and likely to grow even more if Scott Pruitt, a man who has been described as a “stenographer for the oil and gas industry," is confirmed as director of the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has sued the EPA repeatedly while he was the attorney general in Oklahoma—a state suffering multiple earthquakes as a result of fracking, and where he took no action. This multipart report will review some of the myriad of health and environmental concerns and the competing business interests surrounding fracking. In order to understand the health problems, you need to first understand how fracking is done. Thousands of feet deep below the ground surface, some types of rocks, particularly shale, a soft-layered rock formed from mud and clay, contain gas and oil. The problem is how to release the gas and oil from the rock. For hydraulic fracturing, a.k.a. fracking, a well is initially drilled to an average depth of 7,700 feet. When it reaches the right depth, the well drill and pipes are redirected horizontally, extending 1,000-6,000 feet. A mixture of water, sand and chemicals is injected into the wells under high pressure to fracture, or crack, the shale, enabling gas to be released and flow up the well. The process requires heavy construction equipment. It’s estimated that 200 tankers are needed to haul in 1 million gallons of water, and that each deep well might require 2-10 million gallons of water mixed with thousands of gallons of a sand “proppant" and chemical mixture. What makes fracking especially hazardous is the very high pressure needed to shatter the rock, and that the metal and concrete well casings are often not strong enough to tolerate the intense pressure, resulting in leaks of toxic fluids. This "well integrity" has NOT been safer in new wells. In addition to the chemicals injected into the wells during the fracking process, other chemicals are released from the shale, including these: But there are many others…and many of these are proprietary and, thanks to the “Halliburton Loophole,” which exempted the injection of these fracking chemicals (now euphemistically called “tools”) from the EPA’s regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. In many states, companies don’t even have to disclose what these chemicals are that they are injecting into these wells. Some states, like Pennsylvania, have even had gag orders prohibiting physicians who were given access to these trade secret concoctions in order to take care of their patients from disclosing this information either to other physicians or to the patients themselves! This gag rule was overturned in December, 2013. A similar rule was recently proposed in Virginia, and another, in Maryland, has been withdrawn. What do we know about some of these chemicals? During fracking, a number of chemicals are released into the air, as well as into the water. Benzene is one, naturally occurring in the rock but toxic when vented into the air. Dr. Carol Kwiatkowski of University of Colorado, examined air samples within a mile of shale gas wells. Her team found 61 airborne chemicals, including methylene chloride, which can cause respiratory symptoms and memory loss, and can be fatal acutely, as well as being a possible carcinogen in the longer term. The Colorado researchers also found levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons well above the threshold shown to cause lower IQs and developmental delays in prenatal exposures. Increased levels of radon, the second most common cause of lung cancer in the U.S., has been increasing in homes near unconventional (horizontal) drilling (a.k.a. fracking). Besides the chemical exposures, oil and gas drilling workers have a much higher fatality rate than average—2.5x that of the construction industry and 7x higher than industry as a whole. Silicosis is an additional risk borne by the drilling workers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)’s field studies show that workers may be exposed to high levels of silica in the dust surrounding the work site, even if using respirators, which are often inadequate to compensate for the high levels of exposure. The silica crystals then enter the workers’ lungs, causing difficulty breathing and permanent lung damage. Besides disability and premature death from chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), lung cancer is also a risk. The EPA has equivocated as to health problems from water contamination. In 2015, it said it had found no evidence that fracking had “led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources,” although it did find specific instances of problems, including contamination of drinking water wells. It revised its report in December 2016, noting that there was evidence that “fracking contributed to drinking water contamination—'cases of impact'—in all stages of the process,” as ProPublica explained in its in-depth series on fracking. ProPublica also notes that in Dimock, Pa., the EPA concluded that their foul, brown water “did not require emergency action, such as a federal cleanup.” Yet another study of the same water, by the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, found dangerously high levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic and copper in residents’ wells, as well as non-natural pollutants including acetone, toluene and chloroform, and a compound called 4-chlorophenyl phenyl ether. The water in 17 homes contained enough methane to risk an explosion. Overall, it appears the EPA has downplayed risks to the public from contaminated water in a number of cases. Two new reports from the Public Herald are damning. In a multiyear study of fracking in Pennsylvania, the investigative journalists contacted the Department of Environmental Protection repeatedly. In their first report, "Hidden Data," they note that in 2011, DEP “never produced a single document, and we (PH) learned that complaints were being held as 'confidential.'" When asked why, an attorney from DEP’s Southwest Regional Office explained that Deputy Secretary Scott Perry didn’t want complaints to ‘cause alarm.’” By December 2016, through the reporters' dogged persistence, the DEP produced a new list revealing a statewide total of 9,442 complaints from 2004 onwards. Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, an oil and gas engineering expert from Cornell University, analyzed the data. From a baseline in 2004, where there was one complaint for every 10 conventional wells that were drilled, to one complaint per unconventional (fracked) well, now there are two complaints per well, with the number of complaints now exceeding the number of gas wells. The DEP now receives an average of three oil and gas complaints per business day. Yet the DEP concluded that only 6% of the drinking water complaints were related to the drilling. In their newly released report, “To Hell With Us,” the investigators reviewed 1,000 of the DEP’s 4,108 drinking water complaints, finding 177 cases of misconduct by the DEP. They detail each report here. (Many of the remaining reports were incomplete, precluding analysis.) They divide the violations into three types: The reporters conclude that DEP “cooks” its findings and shreds reports prematurely, precluding further analysis. A number of states and countries currently ban fracking, including Monterey County and five others in California, the states of New York, Maryland (though this is being reconsidered) and Florida and counties in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania, among others. Local decisions to ban fracking because of concerns about the environment and water quality are increasingly being challenged. It should be obvious that it is critical to all of us to have clean air and water, and that this issue should be above politics and business interests. Scott Pruitt is but the latest example of nominating a candidate who is most likely to dismantle an essential department to a cabinet position. Perhaps, as industry would claim, there is “nothing to see here” and no problem…but we don’t know, given limited research and that not many are looking. Is this an experiment we should be doing on our children? Further posts in this series will look more deeply at health studies and the impact of fracking on local communities. For more medical/pharma news and perspective, follow me on Twitter @drjudystone or here at Forbes

Loading Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry collaborators
Loading Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry collaborators