Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Report Reveals Toxic Air Near Natural Gas Operations

While this press release concerns air quality in natural gas operations in Colorado and New Mexico, it has obvious repercussions for drilling in other states.  To start your own citizen sampling corps, see Global Community Monitor for all the info you'll need!

Citizen Samples Confirm Neighboring Communities at Risk
El Cerrito, CA-- Citizen sampling of air quality near natural gas production facilities has identified highly unsafe levels of toxic chemicals near homes, playgrounds, schools and community centers in Colorado and New Mexico. A new report issued by Global Community Monitor, GASSED! Citizen Investigation of Toxic Air Pollution from Natural Gas Development, details the air sampling results, environmental and public health threats with living amid the natural gas boom.

A coalition of environmental and community based organizations in Colorado and New Mexico collected nine air samples that were analyzed by a certified lab. The lab detected a total of 22 toxic chemicals in the air samples, including four known carcinogens, as well as toxins known to damage the nervous system and respiratory irritants. The chemicals detected ranged from 3 to 3,000 times higher than what is considered safe by state and federal agencies. Sampling was conducted in the San Juan Basin area of Colorado and New Mexico, as well as Garfield County in western Colorado.

“Carcinogenic chemicals like benzene and acrylonitrile should not be in the air we breathe – and certainly not at these potentially harmful levels," said Dr. Mark Chernaik, scientist. “These results suggest neighboring communities are not being protected and their long-term health is being put at risk.”

"My husband, pets, and I have experienced respiratory and other health related problems during the twelve years we have lived on Cow Canyon Road in La Plata County, Colorado.  We believe these health issues are related to the air quality in our neighborhood and in the area,” said Jeri L. Montgomery, neighbor of natural gas development.

To read the remainder of this press release/post--as well as to download the actual report--please click HERE.

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