Sunday, September 04, 2016

Oil/Gas Emissions Cause 3/4 Million Child Asthma Attacks

The top map shows the parts of the country experiencing the most emissions from the oil & gas industry. The bottom map shows the incidence of asthma attacks per 10,000 children each year in parts of this country. Note that areas with the most asthma attacks in children generally correlates with the areas with the most oil & gas emissions.

The Clean Air Task Force has published a new study called "Gasping for Breath". It finds that 750,000 asthma attacks occur in this country each year that are attributable to emissions from oil and gas. That number is their prediction for the year 2025 -- but they admit that the sources of those emissions are already in use, so the number is probably valid right now.

There has been a lot of talk about moving away from the use of fossil fuels to stop global climate change, but this report shows that it is not just the planet that's in danger. These fossil fuels are also affecting the health of our children (and many adults). I recommend you read the report, and its rather shocking conclusions.

Here is the report's executive summary:

The oil and gas industry dumps more than 9 million tons of methane and other pollutants like benzene into our air each year. Methane is a greenhouse gas 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide at driving climate change in the near term and the oil and gas industry is now the largest source of methane in the U.S. As we recently described in Fossil Fumes, many of the toxic air pollutants from oil and gas are linked to increased risk of cancer and respiratory disorders. But, air pollutants from the oil and gas supply chain also contribute to the ozone smog pollution that blankets the U.S. in the warmer months. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and methane vented and leaked from the oil and gas supply chain and nitrogen oxides(Nix) generated by gas flaring and engines at natural gas facilities react together in the presence of sunlight to form ozone smog. What’s more, methane pollution from oil and gas facilities also worsens climate change, resulting in hotter weather and stagnant air conditions that make ozone smog levels worse.

When inhaled, ozone smog can impair lung function, trigger asthma attacks, and aggravate diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema, in some cases leading to premature death. Children, the elderly, and people with existing respiratory conditions are thermostat risk from ozone smog pollution, which can drive them to stay indoors in the warmer months when smog levels are highest, robbing children of their summers and others of their ability to work and recreate out of doors. However, the health impacts associated with ozone smog produced by pollution solely from the oil and gas industry have never before been quantified.

For the first time, this report, based on independent analysis by a researcher at Colorado State University, quantifies the national health impacts in the U.S. from ozone smog produced by the pollution from the oil and gas industry. The analysis describes the contribution of these emissions to ozone season ozone levels in 2025 and quantifies health effects of ozone smog from this industry.

Ozone smog that results from oil and gas industry pollution poses a real threat to children who suffer from asthma.
  • Nationally, there are more than 750,000 summertime asthma attacks in children under the age of 18 due to ozone smog resulting from oil and gas pollution.
  • Each summer, there are more than 2,000 asthma-related emergency room visits and over 600 respiratory related hospital admissions nationally due to ozone smog resulting from oil and gas pollution.

    Ozone smog that results from oil and gas industry pollution has a real impact on many Americans’ daily lives.
  • Children miss 500,000 days of school each year due to ozone smog resulting from oil and gas pollution.
  • Each year, adults must deal with 1.5 million person-days when they are forced to rest or reduce activity due to high ozone smog levels resulting from oil and gas pollution.

    Air pollution from oil and gas facilities can have a significant impact on public healtheven in areas far from oil and gas production. Once emitted, air pollution from oil and gas facilities travels far downwind, contributing to elevated ozone levels and affecting people in all of the lower 48 states. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED. And neither will racist,homophobic, or misogynistic comments. I do not mind if you disagree, but make your case in a decent manner.