I posted at the site:
It appears as if the Health Care Industry is trying to manufacture requirements for studies for their own job security. What EID did not do was examine the dangers of relying upon the health care industry for safe medical care! Numerous sources list medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the US. Perhaps the Health Care Industry ought to have graphic photos of botched surgeries or warning sings at ERs that state entering may lead to a grave stone quicker than you think.
I have always heard that high unemployment leads to drug and alcohol abuse, spouse abuse, depression and a number of other health problems. Further, unemployed people delay medical check ups and care, have poor diets, and have no health care coverage for their children.
So when they do these studies, will they show all the positive health benefits due to higher employment? Will they show that workers in this field and related industries have some of the best health care benefits in the world? Will they talk about the better diets and the healthier environments for families?
Further, lower energy bills allow people to keep their homes at proper temperatures, eat better, and reduces the stress of paying bills. Maybe they can afford to both heat their homes and take their meds. And as the lower energy cost cascades through the system it will lower food costs, anything with plastic, fertilizers, medicines, and more...all leading to a better quality of life for everyone.
I'm willing to bet that a look at all health affects, both good or bad, will show an overall improvement in health of the general population.
Throw enough of it at the wall and some is bound to stick. The EID study makes a good point though, that if the chemicals, VOCs, radiation, etc., are all that detrimental to health then you would expect oil and gas workers to be the most affected by contamination. However, it doesn't seem like they are any sicker on the average than any other industry--probably less so than most.
Attention seems to be shifting now to longer range health impacts that are more difficult to measure and draw conclusions about. For example, does methane that migrates from gas wells and ultra-salty bromides that are released downstream from disposal sites for drilling waste water lead to the formation of carcinogenic trihalomethanes? I watched Dr. Steingraber on Amy Goodman's PBS show talking about this a few weeks ago.
This issue is slippery to say the least. Methane and bromides can combine with chlorine which is used as a disinfectant in drinking water to form the trihalomethanes.
It's important to remember that natural gas migration can be caused by many other things besides drilling such as leaking coal seams and landfills. Also, bromides in waste water can come from conventional, shallow gas drilling as well as unconventional, hydro-fractured, horizontal drilling. Increasingly, the industry is recycling and reusing its drilling waste water, so even if bromides were an issue, it's probably one of declining importance.
New blog post about this subject. See if you think it fairly represents...