Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can release toxic substances into the air, say residents and reports.

One of our colleagues from the blog Air Quality Online by AllerAir posted an interesting video report done for the New York Times on the concerns of local residents living in the shadows of natural gas development.

This has been a hotly debated topic for a while, since natural gas production was touted as a “greener” energy source, and witnessed an explosion of growth all over North America.

Opponents argue that the production process spews serious pollutants into the air like VOCs and other toxins that may have serious long-term health effects. One former EPA employee says the industry has been given a pass on environmental laws.

In media reports and documentaries such as Gasland, residents in the areas near compressors started complaining about contaminated soil and water, bad smells, persistent headaches, sore throats, dizziness, nausea and nose bleeds, among other concerns.

EPA just announced seven case studies to assess potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. The draft study plan and additional information: http://www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing.

Air quality tests in homes have shown the existence of toxic pollutants such as volatile organic compounds, benzene, toluene and formaldehyde. Health effects caused by long-term exposure to these substances (even low levels) have not been established officially – yet.

For homeowners, business owners and employees concerned about natural gas, VOCs and indoor air quality, AllerAir and its industrial division Electrocorp offer heavy-duty chemical and odor control air cleaners for residential use and air scrubbers for commercial use.

AllerAir and Electrocorp units use deep-bed activated carbon air filters (the same material often used in gas masks) to remove airborne chemicals, gases and odors.

Contact one of our air quality experts for more information, and to find the right air filtration system for your needs: 1-866-667-0297.

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