The Cardno ChemRisk View
Cardno ChemRisk employees conducted a three-month air monitoring study to evaluate the potential community health risks resulting from air emissions from a hydraulic fracturing well pad that was being actively developed in Washington County, PA. This study was performed pro bono at the request of local community members who were concerned about the potential risks that this natural gas development could pose to their children, considering that the well pad was located within 900 m of a school complex. The ambient air at two locations, a local residence and the school, was continuously monitored for total volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hydrogen sulfide, percent lower explosive limit, and carbon monoxide, and was periodically monitored for 24-hour averages of a set of 62 individual VOCs. Over the three month sampling period, Cardno ChemRisk was able to obtain continuous air monitoring data representative of background conditions and while hydraulic fracturing and flaring occurred on the well pad.
In addition to communicating the air monitoring results to the local community members at the study's conclusion, Cardno ChemRisk scientists Julie Panko, Erin Hynds, Joshua Maskrey, and Allison Insley recently published the total and individual VOC monitoring results in the July 2016 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. Overall, total VOC concentrations did not differ from the background concentrations measured prior to fracking, or those measured following the flaring period. Overall, total VOC concentrations ranged between 0.16 and 80 ppb during all sampling periods. Several individual VOCs were detected in the 24-hour samples, but they were consistent with background concentrations previously measured in the region. A screening-level health risk assessment performed based on these results demonstrated that the measured concentrations of individual VOCs were well below established health-protective levels. The authors concluded that hydraulic fracturing operations did not substantially affect local air concentrations of total or individual VOCs at this site in Washington County.
This study adds to the growing body of research related to unconventional natural gas development. This topic has received substantial attention over the last 15 years because of the specific processes necessary for releasing subsurface natural gas, and its oftentimes close proximity to highly populated areas, as was the case in this study.
An abstract of the manuscript, as well as the option to download the full text, is located here.
Our Cardno ChemRisk scientists, Dr. Autumn Bernal and Ms. Elise De Gandiaga, along with Keller and Heckman, LLP will be participating in a webinar entitled "E-Cigarette Deeming Regulations: Don't Get Left Behind" on July 14, 2016 at 2 PM until 3:30 PM EST. Topics include:...
Senior Health Scientist Denise Hill, PhD, was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Product Stewardship Society® (PSS) at its annual meeting, Stewardship 2016, held in Baltimore, Maryland, May 23-25. Affiliated with the American Industrial Hygiene Association, PSS is an independent professional society dedicated to promoting responsible design, development, and management of products throughout their life cycle.
PSS provides resources, professional development, and networking opportunities to individuals who have a role in product stewardship and sustainability inside and outside of the business sector. Its members comprise a broad range of disciplines, from environmental health and safety (EHS) professionals, toxicologists, and industrial hygienists to sustainability and product steward specialists.
In accepting her two-year appointment, Dr. Hill welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the profession and the continued growth of the PSS and meet the newly emerging challenges of product stewardship with the global community of stewardship professionals.
Dr. Hill, an expert in human health toxicology, is the applied toxicology service area lead for Cardno ChemRisk. She has more than 12 years of professional experience, including extensive expertise in inborn errors of metabolism, nutrient metabolism, gene-environment interactions, and exposure to environmental contaminants and pharmaceuticals as they relate to birth defects. Her research in neurodevelopmental toxicology investigated the molecular mechanisms that give rise to defects in the developing nervous system. She received her doctoral degree in toxicology from Texas A&M University.
For more information contact:
Denise Hill, PhD
Senior Health Scientist
Phone: + 1 713-722-5326