Air pollution damages arteries of even healthy young adults, new study shows

The Independent

By Ian Johnston

October 25, 2016

Tiny particles produced by burning fossil fuels were thought to be mainly a problem for young and elderly people with medical conditions

Tiny particles of air pollution can damage the inner lining of veins and arteries in young and healthy people, putting them at greater risk of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, according to new research.

Air pollution is thought to cause the premature deaths of about 40,000 people a year in the UK, with children and older people with medical conditions thought to be the most at risk.

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Fracking Linked to Cancer-Causing Chemicals, Yale Study Finds

Ecowatch

By Lorraine Chow

October 26, 2016

Yet another study has determined that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, might be a major public health threat. In one of the most exhaustive reviews to date, researchers from the Yale School of Public Health have confirmed that many of the chemicals involved and released by the controversial drilling process can be linked to cancer.

"Previous studies have examined the carcinogenicity of more selective lists of chemicals," lead author Nicole Deziel, Ph.D., assistant professor explained to the school. "To our knowledge, our analysis represents the most expansive review of carcinogenicity of hydraulic fracturing-related chemicals in the published literature."

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With kids in tow, parents call on Wolf to regulate methane

WITF

By Katie Meyer

(Harrisburg) -- A group of parents from around Pennsylvania are urging Governor Tom Wolf to regulate methane emissions.

They held a conference in the Capitol Thursday, flanked by their children, whom they say are affected most harshly by pollution caused by the state's oil and gas industry.

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Fossil Fuel Production Emits More Methane Than Previously Thought, NOAA Says

Inside Climate News

By Bob Berwyn

Oct 11, 2016

The exhaustive global study found emissions from oil, gas and coal sites are between 20 and 60 percent higher than many earlier estimates.

Emissions of planet-heating methane from fossil fuel production are between 20 and 60 percent higher than widely cited estimates, including those used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the science body whose assessments influence climate action around the world.

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General Electric’s new drone can sniff out gas leaks

SlashGear

Brittany A. Roston

Oct 10, 2016

General Electric is developing drones that are able to sniff out methane emissions and gas leaks, something that could help stamp out future leaks faster than currently possible. The technology has been proven necessary by several high-profile leak disasters in the recent past, and will help meet an EPA mandate to find and stop leaks wherever they occur. The drone is being developed under GE’s “Project Raven” moniker, and is indicated as a way for the oilfield industry to operate more efficiently.

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Court ruling on Act 13 is a sign of hope for stronger oil-and-gas regulations

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Letter To The Editor

by Christine Snyder, Penn Township

October 5, 2016

Finally, with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision on Act 13 (“Justices Strike Down Pa. Law on Shale Gas,” Sept. 29), it looks like our state is starting to take people’s right to a healthy environment seriously. But considering that the oil and gas industry has been underregulated since its arrival in our state, we have a lot of work to do to protect our health. 

The current regulations are not enough. Most urgently, there are still no regulations to stop methane leaks and other dangerous air pollutants and particulates from oil and gas operations. The Pennsylvania Constitution promises us the right to clean air. The state government should be protecting the health and safety of its residents — not the profits of the fossil fuel industry. 

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How climate change is screwing up your favorite season

Grist

By Emma Foehringer Merchant 

Sep 22, 2016

It’s officially fall. If you live in many parts of the United States, that means trees gilded with reds, golds, and ochres; a sneaking chill in the air; and warm, amber days yielding to nippy evenings. Everything smells like potpourri, crunchy leaves, and a tinge of smoke.

Enjoy the idyllic autumnal days while they’re still around. Recent evidence indicates climate change might zap everything colorful and crispy out of fall. While scientists can’t exactly predict what future falls will look like, research indicates big changes are coming.

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Air pollutants from Pa. oil and gas sites continue to rise

StateImpact Pennsylvania

By Susan Phillips

August 17, 2016

Air pollutants from Pennsylvania’s natural gas production sites increased from 2013 to 2014, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Environmental Protection. The air inventory data for shale gas production relies on information submitted by the industry, and includes emissions from compressor stations that utilize gas from coal beds, conventional, and unconventional wells. Although the number of well sites reporting information to the DEP dropped by 2.7 percent from 2013 to 2014, the number of pipeline related infrastructure sites increased by 12 percent.

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Why utilities have little incentive to plug leaking natural gas

The Conversation, Academic rigor, Journalistic flair

By Catherine Hausman

August 9, 2016

The Aliso Canyon leak in California earlier this year focused public attention on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Methane is the primary component of natural gas, and it is a potent contributor to climate change. In less than a year, the Aliso Canyon facility leaked methane equal to about four million metric tons of CO2, the greenhouse gas equivalent of driving over 800,000 cars in a year.

But the problem of methane leakage was hardly news to environmentalists and regulators, who have been following the problem for years. Indeed, the EPA this year introduced regulations to limit methane emissions from new oil and gas wells – and more initiatives are expected to be coming down the, er, pipeline.

Methane leaks occur throughout the natural gas supply chain – from the time it’s collected, stored and transported until its use in a power plant, factory, home or business. The leaks can be from aging pipelines, but also from poorly fitted components and from intentional venting – a common practice in which gas is released directly into the atmosphere during maintenance.

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Pollution may shorten lung cancer patients' lives, research shows

The Guardian

By Denis Campbell
August 4, 2016

Air pollution may shorten the life of people who are suffering from lung cancer, researchers have found.

The findings, which add to growing evidence about the health impact of airborne toxins, show that those diagnosed with early-stage lung cancer are most at risk of an early death. That applies in particular to people with adenocarcinoma, the commonest form on non-small cell lung cancer, which accounts for 80% of cases of the disease.

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