$1M given to study health effects of drilling
DANVILLE — A Pennsylvania health company says it has gotten a $1 million grant to study possible health impacts of natural gas drilling on the Marcellus shale.
Geisinger Health System of Danville said on Monday that the Degenstein Foundation awarded the money to help underwrite what it called a “large-scale, scientifically rigorous assessment” of the drilling.
Most of the money will be used for data-gathering, and some will go toward developing studies of the data. Officials said they expect other funders to come forward.
The study is to look at detailed health histories of patients who live near wells drawing from the Marcellus shale formation. The boom in drilling has generated jobs and billions of dollars in revenue for companies and individual leaseholders, but it has raised health concerns.
Geisinger Health Systems, Guthrie Health of Sayre and Susquehanna Health of Williamsport will collaborate on planning and execution of the study, including developing a health surveillance network aimed at assessing and reporting on data gathered from electronic health records.
“The goal is to create a cross-disciplinary, integrated and sharable repository of data on environmental exposures, health outcomes and community impacts of Marcellus shale drilling,” the announcement said. “Some of the potential health effects that are likely to be investigated first include asthma, trauma and cardiovascular disease.”
Preliminary results could be available within the next year, while other findings are expected in five years and during the next two decades.
Many federal and state regulators say hydraulic fracturing is safe when done properly, but environmental groups and some doctors assert that regulations still aren't tough enough.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.