(scroll to bottom for detailed ppts. from NOAA)
“…especially the alkanes” Were the exact words published regarding the air in Erie, CO in a NOAA/Appalachian State University report published Sept. 2, 2011 and conducted Feb-Mar 2011.
We are not scientists, we are parents; and we had no idea what we would find when we sent a simple email asking if any air testing had been done in our community related to oil and gas operations. As with all information that comes our way, we reached out to unbiased experts to help us understand.
What does it mean to live in a community with butane and propane levels “ridiculously” high? What does this mean to children’s health? Maybe rather than lighting our water on fire, we can light our air? That’s probably a stretch… Does is mean asthma? That’s the most obvious potential we presume… Initial interpretation of this report has been shared with us and we wanted to share this with you:
“Propane and butane are listed on OSHA’s Extremely Hazardous Substances list, mostly due to flammability. Benzene is a known human carcinogen. Overall these and other volatile hydrocarbons measured in local air can cause respiratory irritation. They can be transformed by sunlight into other, more harmful chemicals, principally ozone, and perhaps carcinogens. The potential impact to children’s health is difficult to gauge but deserves further consideration.” Sonya Lunder, EWG Senior Analyst
(Sonya holds a Masters of Public Health in environmental health sciences from UC-Berkeley . Prior to joining EWG in 2002, Sonya managed a community health intervention at a Superfund site, and worked for California's Environmental Health Investigations Branch. Sonya will be speaking at Empowering Erie on March 1).
We look forward to learning more about what these findings do or do not mean. However, the lack of health and impact studies related to natural gas operations are cause for concern alone. View ER interview on Ch. 7 Here.
We give a special thanks to Steve Brown from NOAA for coming and presenting this information.
NOAA Summaries Below: