Does Marcellus shale drilling impact health?

DANVILLE — The natural gas industry is booming in our area, but is it healthy for those living near the Marcellus shale wells?  Two local healthcare systems are teaming up to study just that.  Guthrie Health, a healthcare system serving northern Pennsylvania and southern New York, has joined with Geisinger Health System to research the health impacts of gas drilling.

Doctor David Carey, director of Geisinger’s Weis Center for Research, said, “As Geisinger and Guthrie both serve patient populations that live in areas affected by Marcellus shale gas drilling, it is appropriate that we join forces to investigate the effects of this activity.”

The two health systems are collaborating in the planning and execution of the study.  They plan to capture, assess and report on patient level data through a secured health surveillance network.

Some of the health effects that will be investigated first may include asthma, cardiovascular disease and cancer.  Dr. Carey said preliminary results may be released within the next year, while other aspects may unfold over five, 10 or 15 years.  (Codi Jade)




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