“Associations between Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Nasal and Sinus, Migraine Headache, and Fatigue Symptoms in Pennsylvania, Environ Health Perspect; DOI:10.1289/EHP281
By Aaron W. Tustin, Annemarie G. Hirsch, Sara G. Rasmussen, Joan A. Casey, Karen Bandeen-Roche, and Brian S. Schwartz
Unconventional natural gas development (UNGD) produces environmental contaminants and psychosocial stressors. Despite these concerns, few studies have evaluated the health effects of UNGD.
We investigated associations between UNGD activity and symptoms in a cross-sectional study in Pennsylvania.
We mailed a self-administered questionnaire to 23,700 adult patients of the Geisinger Clinic. Using standardized and validated questionnaire items, we identified respondents with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS), migraine headache, and fatigue symptoms. We created a summary UNGD activity metric that incorporated well phase, location, total depth, daily gas production and inverse distance-squared to patient residences. We used logistic regression, weighted for sampling and response rates, to assess associations between quartiles of UNGD activity and outcomes, both alone and in combination.
The response rate was 33%. Of 7,785 study participants, 1,850 (24%) had current CRS symptoms, 1,765 (23%) had migraine headache, and 1,930 (25%) had higher levels of fatigue. Among individuals who met criteria for two or more outcomes, adjusted odds ratios for the highest quartile of UNGD activity compared to the lowest were [OR (95% CI)] 1.49 (0.78, 2.85) for CRS plus migraine, 1.88 (1.08, 3.25) for CRS plus fatigue, 1.95 (1.18, 3.21) for migraine plus fatigue, and 1.84 (1.08, 3.14) for all three outcomes together. Significant associations were also present in some models of single outcomes.
This study provides evidence that UNGD is associated with nasal and sinus, migraine headache, and fatigue symptoms in a general population representative sample. Read the entire article for free here: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/ehp281/
In a study from last year, “Understanding the Radioactive Ingrowth and Decay of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials in the Environment: An Analysis of Produced Fluids from the Marcellus Shale“ Andrew W. Nelson,et. al. estimated that the radioactivity concentration would increase by a factor of more than five within 15 days as a result of radioactive ingrowth. They measured an increase in the decay products 210 lead and 228 thorium in the closed system, and they predicted that radioactivity would continue to increase for more than 100 years with the formation of the decay products 210 lead and 210 polonium.” (EHP, July 2015) http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1408855/ See: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/07/27/fracking-fluids-become-more-radioactive-over-time/