What is the Local Environmental Impact of Fracking?

Investigating the traffic-related environmental impacts of hydraulic-fracturing (fracking) operations (13 page pdf, Paul S. Goodman, Fabio Galatioto, Neil Thorpe, Anil K. Namdeo, Richard J. Davies, Roger N. Bird, Environment International, Feb. 1, 2016)

Today we review an aspect of fracking, not often investigated: the impact of local fracking wells which is a combination of the air pollution emissions from the fracking itself and the removal of waste water by tanker trucks which adds vehicle emissions and noise. There is a requirement for 9,000 to 29,000 cubic metres per well, or 54,000 to 174,000 cubic metres for a six-well pad. Total CO2 emissions associated with extraction of shale gas from a well were small (0.2–2.9%) compared to the combustion of the gas from the well. Modelling of NOx emissions showed increases reaching 30% over non-fracking periods and noise levels doubling.

fracking traffic

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

What are the Health Impacts from Roadside Emissions while Reducing Greenhouse Gases?

Near-Roadway Air Pollution and Coronary Heart Disease: Burden of Disease and Potential Impact of a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy in Southern California (8 page pdf, Rakesh Ghosh, Frederick Lurmann, Laura Perez, Bryan Penfold, Sylvia Brandt, John Wilson, Meredith Milet, Nino Künzli, and Rob McConnell, Environmental Health Perspectives, Feb. 1, 2016)

Today we review research into the impact of roadside emissions for people living near (within 50 m) of major highways in Southern California. While various policies have been put in place recently and into the future to reduce PM2.5 and greenhouse gas emissions, this study concentrated on the specific health impacts from roadside gases as they affect coronary heart disease. Results indicate that although emissions have lessened that more and more people live closer to the highways so that the health impacts become greater. Several options are suggested to alleviate this including a switch to zero emission electric vehicles and putting a buffer between the highways and residential areas.

south calif health

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

 

What Are the Health Implications of Using Coal-Tar Sealants on Driveways and Parking Lots?

Studies Raise Questions about Pavement Sealers (2 page pdf, Environ Health Perspect. 2012 May 1, 2012)
Also discussed here: Public Health Statement – Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (Pahs)  (6 Page Pdf, Department Of Health And Human Services, Public Health Service Agency For Toxic Substances And Disease Registry, Center For Disease Control, Aug. 1995)
And here: A review of airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and their human health effects (Abstract, Ki-Hyun Kim, Shamin Ara Jahan, Ehsanul Kabir, Richard J.C. Brown, Atmospheric Environment, Oct. 2013)

Today we review a short article that discusses the pros and cons of applying a sealant to driveways. The biggest pro is improving the cosmetic appearance of the driveway. The biggest con is that coal-tar based sealants act as source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) for as long as eight years after the initial application, in addition to producing14.5 times higher concentration of PAH-contaminated indoor dust in residences located next to treated pavements. An asphalt pavement structure should last virtually forever if a thin coat of repaving is applied after 20 years along with interim crack sealing. The health impacts from exposure to PAH for long periods include a higher risk of cancer as well as cataracts, kidney and liver damage and jaundice.
To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

Is Exposure to Short-term Roadside Emissions a Greater Health Risk for Children?

Greater nitrogen dioxide concentrations at child versus adult breathing heights close to urban main road kerbside (7 page pf, Hannah S. Kenagy, Chun Lin, Hao Wu & Mathew R. Heal, Air Qual Atmos Health, Sep. 3, 2015)

Roadside emissions have been shown to pose a health threat for people living or travelling close to the roads but the studies have been restricted to measuring the exposure several metres above ground rather than at the same level as the exhaust itself or for people breathing in the pollution at different heights. Today we review research into this question with a focus on how this may pose a greater threat for children either walking or in a stroller/buggie at lower heights than their accompanying adults. Results indicate that NO2 concentration levels are 5 to 15% higher closer to the ground within 1.2 m of the side of the road or curb- with other actors such as windspeed kept constant. This has health implications for children near roads with heavy traffic (above 12,000 vehicles per day which is typical for a 2 lane busy urban road) and might suggest a greater setback for sidewalks for example.

Nitrogen dioxide, a large contributor to the p...

Nitrogen dioxide, a large contributor to the production of smog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

Is there a Link between Childhood Leukemia and Roadside Emissions from Traffic?

Residential Proximity to Heavy-Traffic Roads, Benzene Exposure, and Childhood Leukemia—The GEOCAP Study, 2002–2007 (Abstract, Jennifer Houot, Fabienne Marquant, Stéphanie Goujon, Laure Faure, Cécile Honoré, Marie-Hélène Roth, Denis Hémon and Jacqueline Clavel, Am. J. Epidemiol., Sep. 15, 2015)
Also discussed here: Study of leukemias in children living close to heavily used roads. (ScienceDaily, Sep. 17, 2015)
Today we review research conducted in France with 5 years of data to explore the incidence of leukemia for children exposed to roadside emissions. Results indicate that while there is no significant link with nitrogen dioxide, there is a 30% greater frequency of myeloblastic type leukemia for children living within 150 m of heavy traffic when there is also a higher concentration of benzene in the emissions.

BONE MARROW: ACUTE MYELOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA WITH ...

BONE MARROW: ACUTE MYELOBLASTIC LEUKEMIA WITH MATURATION (AML-M2) Bone marrow smear from a patient with acute myeloblastic leukemia with maturation showing several blasts with prominent nucleoli, a promyelocyte, and a myelocyte. Two of the blasts contain prominent Auer rods. (Wright-Giemsa stain) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

How Do Electric Fields under High Voltage Power Lines Compare to Those Near Highways?

Comparison of charged nanoparticle concentrations near busy roads and overhead high-voltage power lines (Abstract, E.R. Jayaratne, X. Ling, L. Morawska, May 28, 2015)

Also discussed here: Roadside air can be more charged than under a high-voltage power line (Science Daily, May 28, 2015)
Today we review research from Brisbane, Australia, comparing the number of charged particles emitted by vehicles near highways to what is found under power lines. Results indicate more than twice as many charged vehicles near roads. The charges alone do not present a health hazard but the fact that the particulates are charged means that they adhere more closely to the lungs when they are breathed in – and this as earlier research has shown presents a number of health impacts which would be increased by the electrical charging.

freeway electric field

To see Key Quotes and Links to those in key reports, click HERE

 

Modelling the Dynamics of Traffic Congestion and Urban Air Pollution Hot Spots

MIT Study devises new algorithm to predict traffic patterns (Becca DeGregorio, The Daily Free Press, Nov. 13, 2014)

Also discussed here: Understanding Road Usage Patterns in Urban Areas (6 page pdf, Pu Wang, Timothy Hunter, Alexandre M. Bayen, Katja Schechtner & Marta C. Gonzalez, Scientific Reports, Nature, Dec. 20, 2012)

And here: Phone data helps pinpoint source of traffic congestion (On Balance, Dept. Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jan. 2013)

And here:

(48 sec You-Tube, Marta Gonzalez, Dec. 8, 2013)

And here: Gridlock Traced to Just a Few Key Commuters (Rocket News, Dec. 21, 2012)

Today we review research from MIT aimed at diagnosing the dynamics of traffic congestion using mobile phone records and population and origin-destination statistics to identify key congested road segments that lead to major congestion across major cities such as San Francisco and Boston. These congested areas rapidly lead to high levels of pollution that affect the entire urban area which puts both drivers and others such as cyclists who use the roads at risk to their health. Better design of the road network and method to reduce traffic peaks such as congestion pricing are offered as solutions.

traffic congestion

To see Key Quotes and Links to key reports about this post, click HERE

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 288 other followers

%d bloggers like this: