ERIE CO FAMILY SHARES STORIES OF HIGHLY ELEVATED BENZENE LEVELS REDUCED AFTER LIVING AWAY FROM FRACKING SITES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Anne Lee Foster: 757-870-5102 anneleefoster@gmail.com

***PRESS RELEASE***

ERIE CO FAMILY SHARES STORIES OF HIGHLY ELEVATED BENZENE LEVELS REDUCED AFTER LIVING AWAY FROM FRACKING SITES

CO PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY OFFERING FREE BLOOD TEST FOR FAMILIES LIVING NEAR OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS TO DETECT BENZENE POISONING

DENVER — Erie resident Kathryn Maciula shared the harmful effect living near oil and gas operations had on her and her family in a new video released this week endorsing Prop 112 [https://www.facebook.com/ColoradoRising/videos/1976502969317145/].

According to Maciula, after fracking rigs moved into her neighborhood, she started experiencing regular vomiting episodes and her kids became sick frequently. A blood test revealed Maciula and her children were in the 95th percentile for benzene levels, a deadly carcinogen associated with fracking operations. She was told by her doctor, the only way to get the benzene out of their system was to eliminate exposure to it – a difficult task with the dozens of drilling sites within a quarter-mile of her home.

After several months of living with family members in Estes Park, where there are no drilling or fracking operations, Maciula’s daughter had a follow-up blood test which showing zero benzene present in her blood.

“Studies have shown that people who live in dense areas of fracking have an increased risk of serious health effects, including high levels of benzene in their blood which can cause cancer, low birth weight and birth defects,” said David Nolan, M.D. from Physicians for Social Responsibility – Colorado. “We believe oil and gas operations do not belong in places where our children live, play, and learn. We also believe that families who do live too close to fracking and drilling should know the harmful impact it can have on the health of their families.”

“I have done studies on patients living near wells and BTEX burners and have found significant toxic levels of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in patients living with 2000 feet of the wells,” said DO John Hughes of Aspen. “The closer patients live near the wells the more of these VOCs they have in their blood and urine samples. My studies are not only supported by other physicians who have tested both blood and urine but also by the O&G’s gas own calculations of emissions of these BTEX (Benzene Toluene Ethylbenzene Xylene) compounds in the late 1990s…even before fracking began.”

Additionally, here is a small sample other Erie residents that have tested high for VOC contents in their blood.

  • Four-year-old son of Serena Arnold, also told by doctor to move
  • John C. Lamb, 72, 95th percentile for ethylbenzene
  • Anonymous woman (has received threats), 38, 95th percentile for benzene
  • Anonymous girl, 7, 95th percentile for ethylbenzene
  • Anonymous man, 37, 94th percentile for ethylbenzene
  • Six-year-old son of Beth Ewaskowitz, 85th percentile for ethylbenzene

Science:

The American Cancer Society on Benzene exposure: “Benzene is known to cause cancer, based on evidence from studies in both people and lab animals. The link between benzene and cancer has largely focused on leukemia and other cancers of blood cells:”

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/benzene.html

The World Health Organization says “Benzene is carcinogenic to humans, and no safe level of exposure can be recommended.” http://www.who.int/ipcs/features/benzene.pdf

Studies show Benzene is dangerous for pregnant women including a study conducted by the University of Montreal: “High exposure to benzene during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight, an increased risk of childhood leukemia and a greater incidence of birth defects such as spina bifida:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171113095435.htm

A study done in Pennsylvania with data for 1 million babies showed that infants that live less than ½ mile from an oil and gas well are 25% more likely to be born weighing less than 5.5 lbs.

https://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2017/12/13/study-newborns-close-to-fracking-site-have-higher-risk-of-low-birth-weight/

Recent studies done in Erie found that 55% of VOCs in the air are a direct result of oil and gas extraction: http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_22390113/cu-boulder-noaa-study-uncovers-oil-and-gas

A CU Anschutz study Study associates proximity to oil and gas development and childhood leukemia. Leukemia is one of the main causes of Benzene exposure:

Continuous exposure to benzene leads to a build-up of toxicity in the blood. If benzene is emitted closer at 51ppb in 24 hr (low estimate for modern shale oil), the patient living near the well would be at a toxic level of benzene in their system in about 60 days. https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=lBAyAQAAMAAJ&rdid=book-lBAyAQAAMAAJ&rdot=1 [play.google.com]

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