Recently we’ve seen renewed media interest in some areas of the state—newspaper articles and television coverage—on the potential public health impact of oil and gas operations in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale regions.
In response, and at the request of the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) urges physicians who have encountered patients with adverse health effects potentially attributable to nearby Marcellus Shale development to report these issues to the DOH Bureau of Epidemiology:
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology
Room 933, Health and Welfare Building
625 Forster St., Harrisburg, PA 17120
PAMED supports continued study of the effects of hydraulic fracturing on public health. Two years ago, we conducted a survey among physician members statewide to gain a better understanding of the types of questions patients are asking and identify the information gaps that physicians may be experiencing. The data from that survey was submitted to the DOH for evaluation.
Collecting anonymous health data and conducting comprehensive studies of the health of people within the affected communities are key steps to understanding this industry’s potential health risks, facilitating physicians’ abilities to treat their patients, and overall, keeping our communities healthy.