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Archive for December, 2012

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Friday, December 28th, 2012

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The Health Effects of Fracking

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Photo of natural gas frac wells

By Steve Beleu, Director, U.S. Government Information Division, Oklahoma Department of Libraries

The immense growth in our nation of enhanced natural gas and oil recovery via the process popularly known as “fracking,” and more precisely known as “Hydraulic Fracturing,” has created an economic boom. “Shale oil” and “shale gas” is trapped within shale formations; injecting combinations of water, sand, and chemicals at high pressure causes the shale to crack which then releases the gas or oil. But mismanaged fracking can also release hazardous chemicals into drinking water and air, and also cause small earthquakes. Here are some links to information about fracking in general and its potential adverse health effects.

Basic information about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and oil.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Website updated on May 9, 2012.
http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/wells_hydrowhat.cfm

Basic information about shale gas. It includes a chart that shows the current and projected future growth of shale gas production from about 2005 through 2040. EIA estimates that there will be a 44% increase in fracking.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. Website updated on December 5, 2012.
http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/article/about_shale_gas.cfm?src=email

Map of “Lower 48” State Shale “plays” (a “play” is the name for a formation that contains trapped natural gas).
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. May 9, 2011.
http://www.eia.gov/oil_gas/rpd/shale_gas.pdf

Report about fracking and the risks to public health of fracking. Recommended for its technical explanations of fracking. September 5, 2012.
Source: U.S. General Accountability Office.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-732

Report about the regulations of federal government and six states about the potentially hazardous effects of fracking.
Source: U.S. General Accountability Office. September 5, 2012.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-874

Congressional report from the U.S. House of Representatives about the chemicals in fracking and their potential adverse health effects.
Source: U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. April 2011.
http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Hydraulic%20Fracturing%20Report%204.18.11.pdf

Charts and graphs about fracking.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. June 27, 2012.
http://www.eia.gov/pressroom/presentations/staub_06272012.pdf

The EPA project to study the effects on fracking on drinking water; widely reported by national and state media. Their report is due to Congress in 2014, but this is a website about it. Website updated on December 7, 2012/
http://www.epa.gov/hfstudy/

EPA’s web page about the basics of fracking. Website updated on October 2, 2012
http://www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracture/

Selected free, full-text articles about fracking from the National Institute of Health’s PubMed Central (PMC) database. Using the search term “hydraulic fracturing” currently retrieves 89 articles; these are three of them. Basic web address of PubMed Central: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/

—“Methane Contamination of Drinking Water Accompanying Gas-Well Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing”. Published in May 2011.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3100993/

—“The Future of Fracking: New Rules Target Air Emissions for Cleaner Natural Gas Production”. Published in July 2012.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3404676/

—“Blind Rush? Shale Gas Boom Proceeds Amid Human Health Questions”.  Published in August 2011.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3237379/

Staff Changes NN/LM SCR

Friday, December 7th, 2012

The NN/LM SCR pleased to announce staff changes.

Karen Vargas, who has served as the Consumer Health Outreach Coordinator since 2003, has taken on a new position as the NN/LM SCR Outreach and Evaluation Coordinator. In this role, she is responsible for outreach activities focusing on community colleges and allied health schools; evaluation and needs assessment efforts in the Region and document delivery activities (including DOCLINE). She will continue her role as the Oklahoma State Liaison.

Cheryl Rowan, who has served as the Public Health Coordinator since 2009, will now serve as the Consumer Health Coordinator. In this role, she is responsible for outreach activities to public libraries and consumers. She will continue her role as the Texas State Liaison.