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Increasing The Evidence For Health Implications Of Hydraulic Fracking In Maryland

706 words - 3 pages

The lack of knowledge about the health effects from hydraulic fracking was one of the main reasons that the Maryland legislature originally decided to place a de facto moratorium for the state.

Maryland placed a moratorium in the hope of gaining more knowledge and data about both the short and long-term health effects before the decision deadline. Under the order of Governor O’Malley, the Maryland Safe-Drilling Advisory Commission was created to “determine whether and how Marcellus gas production can be accomplished without unacceptable risks of adverse impacts to public health, safety, the environment and natural resources”. The main purpose of this advisory commission is to gather, ...view middle of the document...

It is difficult to pinpoint because the exposure pathways and health effects are influenced by the rate of release, end location and transport, persistence, concentration and frequency of the chemicals being released. The research that has been completed lays the groundwork of evidence for adverse health effects, yet no population-based (longitudinal or cross-sectional) studies have been conducted to solidify this evidence and provided medical proof.

In an effort to help solidify these findings, the Geisinger Health System (a physician-led health care system in northeastern and central Pennsylvania) has formed a coalition to explore the potential health effects of fracking in the Marcellus Shale region and provide an un-biased study of the effects, if any, on health. The decision to create this coalition is to help provide reliable data to see whether the anecdotal reports that are being used are true and what can be done to help mitigate the effects. Geisinger also has access to large amount of health data from electronic health records of regional healthcare systems and the ability to do direct data collection and collect samples for genomic analysis. There are several phases to this initiative with different goals...

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