Chemical intruders? Living close to a fracking site can be harmful to human health, researchers say.

Hydraulic fracturing, a booming oil and gas drilling method, may cause air pollution that may contribute to acute and chronic health problems for people living near natural gas drilling sites, a new study from Colorado School of Public Health shows.

Researchers monitored Colorado fracking sites for three years and found that the air near the wells was polluted with potentially harmful chemicals, including benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene.

Benzene is a known carcinogen and the other toxins have been linked to a wide range of symptoms.

Living within a half mile of a natural gas drilling site increased the health risks substantially. In Colorado, companies are allowed to drill for natural gas within 150 feet of homes.

Since hydraulic fracturing involves injecting water and sand laced with chemicals into shale formations in the ground, opponents have been focusing on the effect the process has on the underground and surface water.

However, the focus may now shift to the air pollution that comes with fracking sites and the potential health effects that those living close by may experience, including eye irritation, headaches, asthma symptoms and cancer.

The EPA is looking at new rules to curb air pollution at oil and gas drilling sites.

The study report will be published in Science of the Total Environment.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Filter out harmful chemicals with carbon air cleaners

Potentially harmful chemicals like benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene and xylene can be removed from the ambient air with the right granular activated carbon air filters.

Electrocorp works with environmental consultants and other professionals to help residents and companies close to fracking sites breathe cleaner and healthier air indoors.

Electrocorp’s air quality specialist will help determine the right carbon blend or impregnation to be the most effective for these chemicals.

For more information and recommendations, please contact Electrocorp today.

 

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