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Annu Rev Public Health. 2019 Apr 1;40:283-304. doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-040218-043715.

Hazardous Air Pollutants Associated with Upstream Oil and Natural Gas Development: A Critical Synthesis of Current Peer-Reviewed Literature.

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Environmental Health Sciences Division, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA; email:
PSE Healthy Energy, Oakland, California 94612, USA; email: ,
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
Environment Energy Technology Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, New York, NY 10065, USA.
Department of Environmental Health Sciences and Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1772, USA; email:


Increased energy demands and innovations in upstream oil and natural gas (ONG) extraction technologies have enabled the United States to become one of the world's leading producers of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists 187 hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects. Several of these HAPs have been measured at elevated concentrations around ONG sites, but most have not been studied in the context of upstream development. In this review, we analyzed recent global peer-reviewed articles that investigated HAPs near ONG operations to ( a) identify HAPs associated with upstream ONG development, ( b) identify their specific sources in upstream processes, and ( c) examine the potential for adverse health outcomes from HAPs emitted during these phases of hydrocarbon development.


air quality; hazardous air pollutants; oil and gas development; oil and natural gas; volatile organic compounds

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