EARTHWORKS

Gas Patch Roulette: Data on air results by county

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NOTE:This additional documentation is in support of the report Gas Patch Roulette: How Shale Gas Development Risks Public Health in Pennsylvania

When the data from air canister samples were broken out by county, we found the highest number of VOCs detected in samples from Washington County (15), Butler County  (15), Bradford County (11), and Fayette County (9). Washington County also had the highest measured concentration of five, and the second highest concentration of 11 VOCs.

Samples from Butler and Bradford counties had the highest concentrations of five and three VOCs, respectively.

Five chemicals were detected in all nine of the samples from Washington County and in the six samples from Butler County: 1,1,2-Trichloro-1,2,2-trifluoroethane, Carbon tetrachloride, Chloromethane, Toluene and Trichlorofluoromethane.

Our results show more VOCs and higher concentrations of the chemicals in Washington County than other counties. This does not necessarily mean that Washington County has worse air quality than other counties in this study. More research would be needed to confirm that, especially given that more samples were taken in Washington than in other counties in our study, thus increasing the chances for detection of VOCs. In addition, the canister samples reflect air quality at one point in time. It is possible that in some places we did not sample when facilities were emitting high concentrations of chemicals, or perhaps the wind was blowing contaminants away from the canisters. 


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Tagged with: public health, pennsylvania, marcellus shale, health and toxics, gas patch roulette, fracking

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