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Int J Occup Environ Health. 2013 Apr-Jun;19(2):104-12. doi: 10.1179/2049396713Y.0000000024.

Assessment and longitudinal analysis of health impacts and stressors perceived to result from unconventional shale gas development in the Marcellus Shale region.

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1
Graduate School Of Public Health, University Of Pittsburgh, PA, USA. kjf10@pitt.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Concerns for health and social impacts have arisen as a result of Marcellus Shale unconventional natural gas development. Our goal was to document the self-reported health impacts and mental and physical health stressors perceived to result from Marcellus Shale development.

METHODS:

Two sets of interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of community members living proximal to Marcellus Shale development, session 1 March-September 2010 (n = 33) and session 2 January-April 2012 (n = 20). Symptoms of health impacts and sources of psychological stress were coded. Symptom and stressor counts were quantified for each interview. The counts for each participant were compared longitudinally.

RESULTS:

Participants attributed 59 unique health impacts and 13 stressors to Marcellus Shale development. Stress was the most frequently-reported symptom. Over time, perceived health impacts increased (P = 0·042), while stressors remained constant (P = 0·855).

DISCUSSION:

Exposure-based epidemiological studies are needed to address identified health impacts and those that may develop as unconventional natural gas extraction continues. Many of the stressors can be addressed immediately.

PMID:
23684268
DOI:
10.1179/2049396713Y.0000000024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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