New peer-reviewed, published study by Lisa McKenzie et al, U Colorado School of Public Health: Childhood cancer linked to nearby oil and gas activity; People ages 5-24 diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia more likely to live in areas with a high concentration of oil and gas activity

New CU study looks at impact of nearby oil and gas drilling on childhood cancer rates, State Health Department questions study’s conclusion by John Ingold, February 15, 2017, The Denver Post

A new study from University of Colorado researchers finds a possible link between a specific kind of childhood cancer and nearby oil and gas activity, but the state Health Department and others are challenging the conclusion. [Of course they are. As in Alberta, Health Departments appear disinterested in protecting the public from oil and gas and appear busy covering-up the truth to protect corporate profits]

The study is the latest attempt to answer an increasingly important question in Colorado: Does living near an oil and gas well impact your health?

CU School of Public Health professor Lisa McKenzie and five colleagues examined data from a state registry of cancer cases. They concluded that people ages 5-24 who were diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia were more likely to live in areas with a high concentration of oil and gas activity.

“It’s important that more studies be conducted to understand why,” McKenzie said.

But Dr. Larry Wolk, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said the study’s conclusion isn’t convincingly reached. He cited limitations in the study’s design and data analysis and said the possible link between childhood cancer and high-concentration oil and gas development hinges on just 16 cases.

“I don’t think the study supports the conclusion that they made,” he said.

The study, which McKenzie said was peer-reviewed, was published online Wednesday in the multidisciplinary journal PLOS ONE. The research was funded by the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

The fight over oil and gas development and public health has long been contentious, and McKenzie, whose doctorate is in environmental chemistry, has faced criticism before.

In a 2014, she and colleagues published a study finding a possible connection between congenital heart defects and proximity to an oil and gas well. Wolk raised similar criticisms of that study, saying that readers “could easily be misled to become overly concerned.”

Oil and gas advocates also have criticized McKenzie’s research. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association put out a statement Wednesday saying that, while it would review McKenzie’s data, “researchers shouldn’t be in the game of scaring people.” Of the new study, Tracee Bentley, the executive director of the Colorado Petroleum Council, said: “This is more of the same and an attempt to undermine energy development and jobs in Colorado.” [It’s OK poison kids for profit?]

McKenzie denied she is trying to push an agenda, while acknowledging that the study has limitations that mean it falls short of proving a link. She said she provided CDPHE officials with a copy of her study before publication and tried to address their concerns in the final manuscript.

“We did the best study we could with the data that the Colorado Health Department was able to provide to us,” she said.

For the study, McKenzie and colleagues looked at 743 cases of cancer reported between 2001 and 2013 in children and young adults living in rural areas of Colorado. They compared those numbers to data on active oil and gas wells throughout the state.

The researchers specifically looked at cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia — a cancer that starts in bone marrow — and at cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. They then weighed the number of those cases reported in high-density and low-density oil and gas areas against the numbers of other kinds of cancer reported in those areas.

While the researchers found no link between non-Hodgkin lymphoma and oil and gas development, they did find a statistically significant correlation between oil and gas and acute lymphocytic leukemia in people ages 5-24. McKenzie said pollutants associated with oil and gas activity — such as benzene — are known to potentially cause cancer.

“That’s why we did the study,” she said. “So, I don’t think we were surprised by this result.”

Wolk, though, said the study didn’t adequately account for other potential causes of cancer and said it also didn’t look at neighborhood turnover or length of exposure to the pollutants. Previous CDPHE studies have found benzene levels in neighborhoods near oil and gas developments within the accepted ranges, he said. Wolk said the new research ultimately found 16 cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia in areas of high-density oil and gas development during the study period.

Still, he said, the issue is important to explore further. He said CDPHE hopes to publish a summary of research on the health impacts of oil and gas development in the coming weeks. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

Environmental causes of childhood cancers ‘grossly underestimated.’ In Canada, toxic chemicals used by oil and gas industry are exempt under CEPA (1999)

Yale School of Public Health: Fracking Linked to Cancer-Causing Chemicals; Pennsylvanians Against Fracking Call on Governor Wolf to Implement Statewide Moratorium on Fracking

Two new peer-reviewed studies published after Florida significantly increases toxic chemicals allowed dumped in waterways: 1) Chemicals used in fracking, other gas, oil operations increase risk of miscarriages, reduced male fertility, prostate cancer, birth defects, preterm birth by disrupting hormones; 2) Lit review shows increased risk of negative reproductive effects from exposure to fracking, other oil, gas extraction activities, especially for miscarriages, reduced semen quality, prostate cancer, birth defects, preterm birth

Elevated Cancer risks surround oil & gas drilling. Fracking is bad for your health says Israel Health Ministry official; Frac flowback stage causes greatest air pollution; WORLD-WIDE STUDY: One in three strokes caused by air pollution

Promised Frac Prosperity for All? Albertans (frac’d more than anywhere else in Canada) face longer wait times for cancer surgery that rank among worst in Canada, report says

New Study: Alberta’s tar sands leading source of air pollution in North America, Tens of thousands of people living within reach breathing elevated levels of fine particles linked in previous studies to lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes

New Study Confirms Fracking Wastewater Is Cancer-Causing. “Barium and Strontium were elevated in frac flowback water exposed cells.” Encana and Alberta government testing showed barium & strontium doubled in Ernst’s water after Encana’s illegal aquifer fracing

Pennsylvania Study Links Fracking to Health Hazards in Fetuses, Infants, Young Children: 35.1% more cancer in children ages zero to four in heavily frac’d counties. Compare to AER’s belittling, dismissive health study in the Lochend

“What is the acceptable risk for increased risk for childhood cancer? It’s zero.”

Concerned Health Professionals Ireland call for frac ban: ‘Extremely strong” evidence fracking harms human health

“It looks like fracking has unearthed an unbargained for and serious cancer risk in peoples’ homes.” John Hopkins study links radon levels in Pennsylvania homes to fracking: “These findings worry us”

Study: Toxic Chemicals, Carcinogens at Levels Far Exceeding Federal Limits Near Frac Sites, Will almost certainly lead to cancer increase in surrounding areas

Frac Captured State, Frac Captured Regulator, Frac Captured Courts? Colorado Supreme Court Strips Constitutional Right To Enact Local Fracking Bans: “It is beyond comprehension that the Colorado Supreme Court still fails to recognize the rights of people to live in a safe and healthy environment”

Terry Greenwood, 66, died after 3 months fighting cancerous brain tumors, years of fighting fracing and for appropriate, accountable regulator response to frac contamination on his farm

Albertans still don’t know what toxic oilfield chemicals their children are breathing. When will companies be ordered to fully disclose all chemicals, including trade secrets, before racing toxic truck loads through school zones, by hospitals, where children play, and before injected, spilled, dumped, spread on foodlands, flared, vented, spewed from endless facilities?

“Rates of childhood leukemia and lymphoma in Flower Mound are significantly higher than expected,” University of Texas gas-drilling study re-examines link between fracking and Flower Mound’s ‘cancer cluster’

Santos CBM in NSW Australia contaminates aquifer with uranium at 20 times the safe drinking water levels; Regulator does not test for thorium, radon and radium! Thorium and radon are known to cause lung cancer

New Study: Emissions may be two to three times higher, some pose cancer risk; Environmental health risks of Alberta tarsands probably underestimated

Fort Chipewyan rare cancer cases cry out for study; Fort Chipewyan councillor latest resident diagnosed with rare cancer, ‘How can this keep happening?’

Promised Frac Prosperity for All? Albertans (frac’d more than anywhere else in Canada) face longer wait times for cancer surgery that rank among worst in Canada, report says

Prevent Cancer Now calls out AER’s Health Fraud! “The AER has no jurisdiction for human health, and Alberta is famed for a chill against the medical community linking ill health to petrochemicals.”

Does it get any more terrifying than this? Encana dumping frac water wars on Canadian pensioners? Encana sells troubled Colorado assets for nearly $1 Billion US to entity 95% owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Another new study showing frac harms to health: Hydraulic fracturing linked to increases in hospitalization rates in the Marcellus Shale

Another New Study Showing Frac Harm: ‘Fracking’ Linked to Low Birth Weight Babies, Pregnant women who live near multiple natural gas wells tend to have smaller infants

Thank Fracking: Business licence for Fox Creek hotel goes up 133,233 per cent

Fracing’s long reach: New Study says Fracking Wells Could Pollute The Air Hundreds Of Miles Away

Sounds like Alberta (Again)! Utah energy boomtown turns on midwife who raised concerns over apparent spike in infant deaths: “Could the deaths be tied to the oil industry, the region’s economic powerhouse?”

New study links fracking to birth defects in heavily drilled Colorado, Risks of some birth defects increased as much as 30 percent in mothers who lived near oil and gas wells

Hydraulic fracturing letter by Robert Griebel, Alberta MD: Reckless pollution of our environment

This Is Your Brain on Toxins. How many from drilling and hydraulic fracturing?

What Lies Beneath: CCTV America Investigation into Hydraulic Fracturing Interviews Alberta landowners, including former oil engineer, fracing fumes damaging health

Oil drilling with possible hydraulic fracturing and secret chemicals in Lethbridge city limits is cause for concern

Few studies done on air safety, health effects near drilling sites

Air emissions near natural gas drilling sites may contribute to health problems

Study, rural Colorado: Positive association observed between greater density, proximity of natural gas wells within 10-mile radius of maternal residence and prevalence of congenital heart defects and possibly neural tube defects  by Lisa M. McKenzie et al, Accepted and Advance Publication January 28, 2014, Environmental Health Perspectives; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1306722

This study suggests a positive association between greater density and proximity of natural gas wells within a 10-mile radius of maternal residence and greater prevalence of [congenital heart defects] and possibly [neural tube defects], but not oral clefts, preterm birth, or reduced fetal growth. … Recent data indicate that exposure to [natural gas development] activities is increasingly common. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission estimates that 26% of the more than 47,000 oil and gas wells in Colorado are located within 150 to 1000 feet of a home or other type of building intended for human occupancy (COGCC 2012). [Emphasis added]

Full peer-reviewed paper

Will Fracking Become the Next Mass Tort?

3 tobacco companies in $27B lawsuit begin their defence, Defence’s witness argues dangers of smoking have been common knowledge for decades

Hormone-disrupting chemicals found in ground and surface water at fracking sites, Peer reviewed study of fracking sites in Garfield County Colorado finds chemicals linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer

Several families taking Baytex (Alberta oilsands company) to court over toxic emissions; Buyout packages allegedly silence Albertans struck with industry-related cancer

Buyout packages allegedly silence Albertans struck with oil and gas industry-related cancer

Alberta Health Services to pay executive bonuses, says work ‘already done’ but refused to address concerns about serious negative health impacts caused by oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing

Air Pollution and Cancer Spikes linked in Alberta; Alberta’s Oil Legacy: Bad Air and Rare Cancers, Sickening carcinogens now saturate Industrial Heartland, study finds

Alberta announces new cancer-care plan, but won’t stop hydraulic fracturing or disallow trade secrets of the toxic chemicals injected

Human Health Risk Assessment of Air Emissions from Development of Unconventional Natural Gas Resources by Lisa M. McKenzie et al, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, March 19, 2012.

Results: Residents living ≤ ½ mile from wells are at greater risk for health effects from NGD than are residents living > ½ mile from wells. Subchronic exposures to air pollutants during well completion activities present the greatest potential for health effects. The subchronic non-cancer hazard index (HI) of 5 for residents ≤ ½ mile from wells was driven primarily by exposure to trimethylbenzenes, xylenes, and aliphatic hydrocarbons. Chronic HIs were 1 and 0.4. for residents ≤ ½ mile from wells and > ½ mile from wells, respectively. Cumulative cancer risks were 10 in a million and 6 in a million for residents living ≤ ½ mile and > ½ mile from wells, respectively, with benzene as the major contributor to the risk.

2013 03 30 Lisa McKenzie health impacts from fracing

Slide from Ernst presentations

Fracking cancer risk

Frac Company Trican Donates $5 Million to Fight Childhood Cancer

A company that contaminated groundwater with cancer-causing chemicals banned from any future underground coal gasification (UCG) activities in Queensland

Family doesn’t pursue lawsuit in cancer death blamed on fracking chemicals

Backlash against a whistle blower, For years, Dr. John O’Connor has made headlines by continually asking why natives near the oil sands have so much cancer

Enbridge research chair first of its kind dedicated to holistic cancer care ]

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