Health Effects on Humans of Fracking

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Human Health and Hydraulic Fracturing
Current research, in the field of public health, is looking at the adverse health effects of hydraulic fracturing on community members. This research is focused on looking for evidence-based research in processes, procedures, materials and cleanup from drilling and running a well. In recent years, several states such as Maryland and New York, have called for special advisory commissions to examine the potential adverse health implications for the community if the moratoriums are lifted and fracturing is allowed to start. A lot of the previous research conducted focused on the anecdotal perspective of the adverse health effects. This perspective does not offer scientific verification that the fracturing processes are causing them or evidence where the contaminations are coming from.

Contamination from the Hydraulic Fracturing Process
There are many potential adverse health impacts caused by the chemicals used at the drilling site, which are later often unintentional released into the environment. These chemicals are hazardous and as Witter et. al. (2008) state “some of the chemicals used in this process are brought to the surface, potentially contaminating soil, air, and water, while some of the chemicals are left underground, potentially subsurface aquifers” (4). This makes it difficult to track which chemicals are causing effects and where they are coming from. Another piece to the puzzle is that the drilling companies do not disclose the full-list of chemicals so there is a great mystery in what chemicals and what concentrations are used in the process (Lauver 2012:383). However, recently there researchers have begun to breakdown the chemical identities and concentrations.
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... and Colorado." Environment and Health Abstracts. National Institute for Health, n.d. Web.
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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. Retrieved February 24, 2014 (
McKenzie, Lisa M., Roxana Z. Witter, Lee S. Newman, and John L. Adgate. 2012. “Human health risk assessment of air emissions from development of unconventional natural gas resources.” The Science of the total environment 424:79–87. (
Olmstead, Sheila M et al. “Shale Gas Development Impacts on Surface Water Quality in Pennsylvania.” PNAS 110.13 (2013): 4962–4967.

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