Maryland Delegates: Children’s Environmental Health Report Provides Fuel for Change to protect children from fracking chemicals

Delegates: Children’s Environmental Health Report Provides Fuel for Change by Angela Harvey, January 18, 2013, Southern Maryland Online
ANNAPOLIS — Maryland lawmakers said Thursday they plan to use a new environmental report to support legislation designed to protect children from environmental health dangers, including pesticides and fracking chemicals. The Maryland Environmental Health Network released its 2012 Maryland Children’s Environmental Health Progress Report Thursday. … The report found that the most dangerous environmental health factors affecting children in the state are the mining process called fracking, climate change, exposure to pesticides and toxic chemicals, and air and water pollution. [Maryland, la Santé Publique vient de sortir un rapport sur les impacts de la fracturation hydraulique sur la santé des enfants]

The report recommends that Maryland: gather more data on how toxic exposure occurs; look at the cumulative exposure and impact on certain communities and populations; identify chemicals of concern; address health implications and policies in energy selection, land use and water protection; and take a comprehensive approach to toxins and chemicals.

“We are proud that Maryland is the only state in the nation that sits on shell gas rock that is charting a pragmatic course. Every other state decided to drill first and ask questions later and we’ve seen the type of environmental and public health catastrophes that has created,” said Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur.

Mizeur said Gov. Martin O’Malley’s 2014 fiscal year budget allows officials to study the public health effects of fracking before making a decision to use hydraulic fracturing to break up underground shale formations and release trapped natural gas. “In the budget released this week, the governor has allocated $1.5 million to study the how the fracking process works, and if the state decides to move forward with the it, how it can be done safely as not to negatively affect the land and water, or the residents and businesses in the state,” said Raquel Guillory, the governor’s spokeswoman.

Ruggles said Maryland has been a leader in health and protecting children and protecting the environment, but there is much more it needs to do. … “Until Congress gets off their butts and does something, I think states need to protect their own children, and that’s what we are going to do in the state of Maryland.

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