Long-Awaited Colorado Health Study Finds Significant Risks From Fracking

Long-Awaited Colorado Health Study Finds Significant Risks From Fracking

SOURCE: Westword and Colorado State Department of Public Health and Environment DATE: October 17, 2019 SNIP: A long-delayed public health study commissioned by Colorado regulators found that oil and gas drilling poses health risks at distances greater than current minimum “setback” distances, a development that is poised to send shockwaves through a regulatory environment already in a state of transition and uncertainty. “Exposure to chemicals used in oil and gas development, such as benzene, may cause short-term negative health impacts…during ‘worst-case’ conditions,” the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a press release. “The study found that there is a possibility of negative health impacts at distances from 300 feet out to 2,000 feet.” The state’s current rules require new oil and gas wells to be at least 500 feet from single-family homes and 1,000 feet from high-occupancy buildings. Proposition 112, the statewide ballot measure pushed by environmental groups and defeated by Colorado voters in 2018, would have imposed a 2,500-foot minimum. State toxicologist Kristy Richardson said in a press conference Thursday afternoon that the results of the study are consistent with the health impacts that have been reported by Colorado residents near oil and gas sites in recent years. “We’ve received, since 2015, about 750 health concerns that have been reported through our hotline,” Richardson said. “About 60 percent of those concerns reported to us are things like headaches, nosebleeds, respiratory issues, skin irritation.” “This study is the first of its kind because it used actual emissions data to model potential exposure and health risks,” John Putnam, the CDPHE’s environmental program director, said in a statement...
How Much Would Trump’s Climate Rule Rollbacks Worsen Health and Emissions?

How Much Would Trump’s Climate Rule Rollbacks Worsen Health and Emissions?

SOURCE: Inside Climate News DATE: March 6, 2019 SNIP: The Trump administration’s efforts to undo rules aimed at reducing greenhouse gases would lead to a rise in annual emissions of more than 200 million metric tons by 2025 and thousands more American deaths, according to a report from New York University Law School. The added pollution would be equivalent to 44 million more cars driven every year or the burning of enough coal to fill more than 1 million railcars, the authors wrote in “Climate and Health Showdown in the Courts.” The report, released Tuesday, homes in on six rules the administration has either tried to suspend or has announced plans to roll back, then calculates the possible damage based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department. The regulations include: The Clean Power Plan, clean car standards, glider truck pollution rules, methane standards, methane reductions on federal lands, and landfill methane rules. The increased sickness and mortality would be the products of climate change as well as increased pollution, such as smog and particulate matter, the report said. The Trump administration’s decision to reverse course on a broad range of climate initiatives threatens to waste taxpayer dollars, too, the Government Accountability Office writes in a separate report issued Wednesday. “It’s dangerous and reckless to say, ‘What we need is hair of the dog. We need more of this. We need more pollution. We need to burn more fossil fuels,'” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said at the press conference. “The president tries to cast this as an ideological war between liberals and conservatives and it’s...
Report: Impact of climate change on humans “potentially irreversible”

Report: Impact of climate change on humans “potentially irreversible”

SOURCE: Axios and The Lancet and The Guardian DATE: October 31, 2017 SNIP: Climate change is hurting people’s health more than previously thought, a team of 63 doctors, scientists, and public health officials wrote in a report published Monday in the medical journal Lancet. “The human symptoms of climate change are unequivocal and potentially irreversible” the team warns, in the first of what is expected to be an annual report based on 40 indicators. The upshot: The increasing waves of heat-related illnesses, mosquito-borne diseases and air pollution problems can be lessened if the world derives its energy needs from renewable sources instead of fossil fuels like coal and boosts its funding to make health systems more climate resistant. What’s happening: The scientists found that climate change already is having an impact worldwide on health, labor productivity, food scarcity, the spread of infectious disease, and exposure to air pollution and heatwaves. Between 2000-2016, there was a 46% increase in the number of weather-related...
Climate change could force more than a billion people to flee their homes

Climate change could force more than a billion people to flee their homes

SOURCE: The Independent DATE: October 30, 2017 SNIP: More than a billion people could be forced to flee their homes because of global warming, according to new research. The movement of people, as well as the various effects of climate change, could be about to trigger a major health crisis, according to a new study from The Lancet. Global warming is already leading some to conclude the climate-change migrants are being forced to move because of extreme changes in the amount of rain and temperature changes destroying their ability to farm. It notes that “migration driven by climate change has potentially severe impacts on mental and physical health, both directly and through the disruption of essential health and social...