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Penn pilot study: Group of Bradford Co, Pa. residents concerned about health effects of hydrofracking
Date:4/28/2013

anecdotally reported by other residents and workers in other areas where drilling occurs. Some patient medical records were also reviewed to compare reported symptoms with those that had been previously documented. "Sinus problems, sleeping difficulties, and gastrointestinal problems were the most common symptoms reported on the Bradford survey," notes Saberi. "Of the few studied charts, there were no one-to-one correlations between the participants' reported symptoms on the survey and the presenting symptom to the medical provider in the records. This raises the possibility of communication gaps between residents with concerns and the medical community and needs further exploration. An opportunity exists to educate shale region communities and workers to report, as well as health care providers to document, the attributed symptoms as precisely as possible."

The CEET team also mapped the addresses of patients who agreed to provide them in relation to drilling to determine if proximity to drilling operations may relate to health problems.

"We hope this pilot study will guide the development of future epidemiological studies to determine whether health effects in communities in which natural gas operations are occurring is associated with air, water, and food-shed exposures and will provide a basis for health care provider education," says CEET director Trevor Penning, PhD. "The goal of science should be to protect the public and the environment before harm occurs; not simply to treat it after the damage has been done."

The Bradford County health concerns pilot study is one of three hydrofracking studies currently underway at CEET, one of 20 Environmental Health Sciences Core Centers (EHSCC) in the US, funded by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

CEET is also partnering with Columbia University's EHSCC to measure water quality and billable health outcomes in areas with and without hydrofracking on the Pennsylvania
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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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