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Boom 3D 1.3.11

Technological advances in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing have resulted in a global boom of drilling and production of natural gas reserves [U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2011a, 2011b; Vidas and Hugman 2008]. NGD is an industrial process resulting in potential worker and community exposure to multiple environmental stressors (Esswein et al. 2013; King 2012; Witter et al. 2013). Diesel-powered heavy equipment is used for worksite development as well as transporting large volumes of water, sand, and chemicals to sites and for waste removal (Witter et al. 2013). It is increasingly common for NGD to encroach on populated areas, potentially exposing more people to air and water emissions as well as to noise and community-level changes that may arise from industrialization [Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) 2009]. Studies in Colorado, Texas, Wyoming, and Oklahoma have demonstrated that NGD results in emission of VOCs, NO2, sulfur dioxide (SO2), PM, and PAHs from either the well itself or from associated drilling processes or related infrastructure (i.e., drilling muds, hydraulic fracturing fluids, tanks containing waste water and liquid hydrocarbons, diesel engines, compressor stations, dehydrators, and pipelines) (CDPHE 2007; Frazier 2009; Kemball-Cook et al. 2010; Olaguer 2012; Walther 2011; Zielinska et al. 2011). Some of these pollutants, such as toluene, xylenes, and benzene, are suspected teratogens (Lupo et al. 2010b; Shepard 1995) or mutagens (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry 2007) and are known to cross the placenta (Bukowski 2001), raising the possibility of fetal exposure to these and other pollutants resulting from NGD. Currently, there are few studies on the effects of air pollution or NGD on birth outcomes.

Boom 3D 1.3.11


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