The oil and gas industry dumps more than 9 million tons of methane and other pollutants like benzene into our air each year.
As reported by Jim Malewitz in a story for The Texas Tribune – Within a decade, Texas will lead the nation in sicknesses linked to ozone-forming pollutants from oil and gas activity, according to a new analysis from a pair of environmental groups released 9/7/2016
In the 2025 “ozone season,” those pollutants will trigger more than 144,000 childhood asthma attacks, nearly 106,000 lost school days and 313 total asthma-related emergency room visits in Texas, the research said. The study defined ozone season as May 1 through September 30.
The conclusions from Clean Air Task Force and Earthworks — national environmental groups based in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. respectively — added fuel to a debate about how much oil and gas activity contribute to smog troubles that plague some Texas cities.
The analysis describes the contribution of these emissions to ozone season ozone levels in 2025 and quantifies health effects of ozone smog from this industry
The oil and gas industry dumps more than 9 million tons of methane and other pollutants like benzene into our air each year. Methane is a greenhouse gas 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide at driving climate change in the near term and the oil and gas industry is now the largest source of methane in the U.S.
Many of the toxic air pollutants from oil and gas are linked to increased risk of cancer and respiratory disorders. But, air pollutants from the oil and gas supply chain also contribute to the ozone smog pollution that blankets the U.S. in the warmer months. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and methane vented and leaked from the oil and gas supply chain and nitrogen oxides (Nix) generated by gas flaring and engines natural gas facilities react together in the presence of sunlight to form ozone smog.
What’s more, methane pollution from oil and gas facilities also worsens climate change, resulting in hotter weather and stagnant air conditions that make ozone smog levels worse.
Many of the toxic air pollutants from oil and gas are linked to increased risk of cancer and respiratory disorders
When inhaled, ozone smog can impair lung function, trigger asthma attacks, and aggravate diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema, in some cases leading to premature death. Children, the elderly, and people with existing respiratory conditions are the most artist from ozone smog pollution, which can drive them to stay indoors in the warmer months when smog levels are highest, robbing children of their summers and others of their ability to work and recreate out of doors. However, the health impacts associated with ozone smog produced by pollution solely from the oil and gas industry have never before been quantified.
For the first time, this report, based on independent analysis by a researcher at Colorado State University, quantifies the national health impacts in the U.S. from ozone smog produced by the pollution from the oil and gas industry. The analysis describes the contribution of these emissions to ozone season ozone levels in 2025 and quantifies health effects of ozone smog from this industry. Ozone smog that results from oil and gas industry pollution poses a real threat to children who suffer from asthma.
“This is really the first time we know of that anyone has looked at the national health impacts of ozone-smog produced by pollution from the oil and gas industry,” said Lesley Fleischman, a Clean Air Task Force analyst who led the study. “So we think it’s important to separate out the health impacts we’re seeing directly from this industry.”
Read the entire report here: Gasping for Breath
Texas will lead the nation in sicknesses linked to ozone-forming pollutants from oil and gas activity
Big Oil And Bad Air On The Texas Prairie