“Those living near oil and gas facilities may have higher health risks”- University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

“Those living near oil and gas facilities may have higher health risks:  Study led by Colorado School of Public Health shows hazardous air pollutant levels measured along the Northern Front Range exceed levels that could affect health”

Study by University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus published 4/9/18

The researchers included the Colorado School of Public Health, Boulder County Public Health, CU Boulder, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the University of California Irvine. They found “the lifetime cancer risk of those living within 500 feet of a well was eight times higher than the EPA’s upper level risk threshold.”

“Our results suggest that Colorado’s current regulations that specify a 500 foot distance between a newly drilled oil and gas well and an existing home may not protect people from exposures to hazardous air pollutants that could impact their health,” said the study’s lead author Lisa McKenzie, PhD, MPH, of the Colorado School of Public Health. “Our previous work shows that thousands of people along the Front Range of Colorado live closer than 500 feet from a well and related infrastructure and that the population living close to these facilities continues to grow.”

“The study acknowledged substantial uncertainties and the need for more research. Nonetheless, there is considerable evidence that benzene can cause cancer in those who work in and around it, but less evidence about its impact on non-occupational populations. The researchers also noted that air pollutants from other sources can contribute to the elevated risks, but stressed that because risks increased with proximity to wells, mitigation strategies should focus on controlling emissions from oil and gas facilities”.

The study is available here https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.7b05983

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