Residents near fracking poisoned in their sleep


sleepingNew research from the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SWPA-EHP) used an aggressive indoor air monitoring program to show that particulate matter spikes at night while residents are sleeping inside homes near fracking-enabled drilling.

This is not news to anyone who lives near fracking sites. They know the air emissions always and conveniently get much worse at night. In Texas it’s very difficult to get the TCEQ to respond to complaints at night. When they respond the next day or in the next few days, the air has cleared.

Forbes: Air pollution spikes in homes near fracking wells

SWPA-EHP employs a nurse practitioner who conducts exams and offers consultations at people’s homes and offices. In 2012-13, they determined 27 health complaints were likely attributable to gas drilling activities, including dermal, respiratory and neurological symptoms and eye irritation.

“The acute impacts do seem to be the concern right now, and you can imagine if these people are getting spikes there are going to be acute impacts from that. What the long term effects are going to be, we’re not certain,” Ripple said.

Likely sources include flaring at wells, venting of gas at compressor stations, and activities at processing facilities, Ripple said.

This monitoring did not include volatile organic compounds.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. says

    We have personally experienced this when a Chesapeake drill site had a big emissions release which gassed us out of bed at 1:30 a.m. TCEQ arrived on the scene by around 11:00 a.m. By that time the winds blew the toxins away, and it was a lovely, clear morning.

    The following evening the City of Arlington voted in favor of granting permits to Chesapeake so they could drill an additional six wells! It’s all fracked up.