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Am J Public Health. 2013 Jun;103(6):1002-10. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301017. Epub 2013 Apr 18.

The use of health impact assessment for a community undergoing natural gas development.

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Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA.


The development of natural gas wells is rapidly increasing, yet little is known about associated exposures and potential public health consequences. We used health impact assessment (HIA) to provide decision-makers with information to promote public health at a time of rapid decision making for natural gas development. We have reported that natural gas development may expose local residents to air and water contamination, industrial noise and traffic, and community changes. We have provided more than 90 recommendations for preventing or decreasing health impacts associated with these exposures. We also have reflected on the lessons learned from conducting an HIA in a politically charged environment. Finally, we have demonstrated that despite the challenges, HIA can successfully enhance public health policymaking.

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