Friday, October 30, 2009

Toxin Discovery in Barnett Shale Air

The Barnett Shale air is the air we are currently breathing every day. This should not come as a surprise after the news out of Dish, TX recently.

The air quality is so bad in Dish that scientist are calling for more Dish air studies. Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe from the Denton Record Chronicle reports.
a few paragraphs from her article.
The TCEQ memo also noted concerns about sulfides found by the Wolf Eagle study. Because some of the long carbon chains in the air samples were difficult to identify, state toxicologists said they could not draw accurate conclusions about the long-term health effects, and they recommended more study of those pollutants.

The Environmental Defense Fund has since released another study of TCEQ data, conducted at Rice University, showing a strong correlation between gas drilling production in Denton County and the types of pollutants found in the county’s air. That analysis showed a likely connection between four volatile organic compounds — pentane, butane, ethane and propane — detected in the county’s ambient air and the amount of condensate produced in local gas wells.

And now it isn't just about Dish, TX air quality.
News 8 did a great segment last night about the air quality throughout the Barnett Shale area. This is just another wake up call to all of us that natural gas is not the "clean burning" fuel of the future. The extraction of this fuel is a dirty and health threatening process!

Read a few paragraphs from the news story and click on the link for the complete report.
Drilling began to take off in the Barnett Shale around 2002, which was when there were nearly 2,000 gas wells.

Since then, that number has grown to more than 12,000. So, many might wonder which government agency has been testing the air at each of those sites to check for any potentially harmful elements in the air. The answer is no one.

Now, for the first time, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is conducting a Barnett Shale air quality study. The results have surprised the highest levels of the commission.

As stated below, benzene's long term exposure effect can lead to cancer.

TCEQ found something potentially hazardous in the air near some natural gas facilities during testing conducted around the Barnett Shale. Benzene, a cancer-causing, dangerous toxin, was discovered to be in the air.
"Long-term exposures to a high enough level of benzene can lead to cancers, leukemia specifically," said Dr. Michael Honeycutt.

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