'Fracking' fumes a public health concern

The Colorado School of Public Health undertook three years of air quality monitoring at Battlement Mesa, a community of about 5000 in an area that has seen an expansion of the mining activity.

Petroleum hydrocarbons including toluene, xylene and the carcinogen benzene were detected with levels peaking during the “relatively short-term, but high emission, well completion period”.

“Our data show that it is important to include air pollution in the national dialogue on natural gas development that has focused largely on water exposures to hydraulic fracturing,” the authors said.

Sci Tot Env 2012, in press