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Jan 15

Impacts of Gas Drilling on Human Health and Animal Health

Controversy surrounding the impact of drilling on air and water quality has pitted industry and lease-holders against individuals and groups concerned with environmental protection and public health. Because animals often are exposed continually to air, soil, and groundwater and have more frequent reproductive cycles, animals can be used as sentinels to monitor impacts to human health. This scientific study involved assessment of animals from owners who live near gas drilling operations. The findings illustrate several aspects of the drilling process that may lead to health problems and suggest modifications that would lessen, but not eliminate impacts. The larger question remains: on the whole, are the risks outweighed by the benefits?