Effect of Contaminants on Human Populations

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Effect of Contaminants on Human Populations Many of the suspected health risks of hydraulic fracturing may impact vulnerable populations such as children, elderly, low-income rural populations and workers (National Association of County & City Health Officials the National Connection for Local Public Health 2013:1). These populations are in close proximity and contact with many of the contaminants discussed in previous sections. This section aims to identify ways these populations are at risk, explore studies that have been conducted as well as make recommendation for future studies. a. Children Young children’s bodies and lungs are still developing, which means that they are more susceptible to contamination in their environments because their respiratory and metabolic rates are faster than adults. This means that they breathe more, eat more foods, and drink more water per pound of body weight than adults (Lauver 2012:384). In studies looking at how maternal exposure to drilling affects birth weight, a statistically significant increase in risk for reduced birth weight and low birth weight on average was found (Hill 2013:1). b. Elderly & Low-Income Rural Populations The elderly are vulnerable due to age-related changes to their bodies and comorbidites like lowered respiratory reserve and the decrease in cardiac compensatory mechanisms (McDermott et.al. 2013:45). Low-income rural populations are vulnerable to the contamination because fracturing sites are often located in undeveloped areas where the unemployment rates may be high and families do not have access to medical care. Both of these groups live in areas where homes, neighborhoods, jobs and schools could be in close proximity to fracturing activities with may lead to an ... ... middle of paper ... ... Lauver, Lori S. 2012. “Environmental Health Advocacy: An Overview of Natural Gas Drilling in Northeast Pennsylvania and Implications for Pediatric Nursing.” Journal of Pediatric Nursing 27(4):383–89. McDermott-Levy, Ruth, Nina, Kaktins, and Barbara Sattler. 2013. “Fracking, the Environment, and Health.” The American Journal of Nursing 113(6):45–51. Moss, Jeremy, Alicia Coram, and Grant Blashki. 2013. “Is Fracking Good for Your Health ?” Australian Institute: Social Justice Initiative (28):1–70. NACCHO. 2013. "Environmental and Health Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing of Unconventional Gas Reserves." (http://www.naccho.org/advocacy/positions/upload/13-03Environmental-and-Health-Impacts-of-Hydraulic-Fracturing-of-Unconventional-Gas-Reserves.pdf). Witter, Roxana Z. et al. 2008. Potential Exposure-Related Human Health Effects of Oil and Gas Development: A White Paper.

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