Shale Regions Deserve Better Health Reporting

Is is too much to ask for reporters covering health issues to exercise caution, ask questions of their own and act responsibly before regurgitating the shallow unverified claims of some shale gas opponents?

A story came across the wire yesterday “Fracking Health Project Puts Numbers to the Debate.”  The story raises more questions than answers and feeds into the fear already gripping a portion of the population.

Out of the population of 200,000 residents of Washington County, Pennsylvania, who live around 700 drilled wells, the project focuses its outcome on 27 self-reported symptom sufferers from one clinic. Were they clustered around one well? One compression station? Several wells? Were their symptoms confirmed through medical examinations? Or, is this another rush to release information because of the said data’s importance (Cornell’s Elaine Hill’s PhD thesis comes to mind).

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