142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Maternal and Child Health Implications of Unconventional Natural Gas Development

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Ellen Webb, MPH , Center for Environmental Health, New York, NY
Amanda Cheng , Center for Environmental health, New York, NY
Sheila Bushkin, MD, MPH , Institute for Health and Environment, NY
Background: Natural gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing (HF) has increased the opportunity for contamination of air and water near drilling-dense regions across the country. The health implications of this practice have not been thoroughly studied. However, the chemicals used in fracturing fluid and naturally occurring metals and radioisotopes released during the fracturing process have been associated with adverse reproductive and developmental health impacts. A recent study from Colorado determined that maternal residential proximity to natural gas development was associated with the prevalence of congenital heart defects and possibly neural tube defects (McKenzie et al. 2014).

Methods: We conducted a systematic review of published research concerning HF chemicals and their link to reproductive and developmental health impacts such as infertility, loss of embryo or fetus, impaired fetal growth, low birth weight, premature or delayed sexual development, birth defects and preterm birth.

Results: We (1) identified priority chemicals of concern associated with reproductive and developmental impacts; (2) determined the mechanisms of these impacts; (3) identified clearly defined health outcomes; and (4) identified existing research gaps and priority areas for future focus.

Conclusions: Policymakers, regulators, scientists and the medical community need tools and resources in order to make appropriate policy decisions and identify knowledge gaps that will inform future research.  In the arena of HF, we aim to address this need by educating stakeholders about the potential health impacts for women and children based on current science and health literature.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate and discuss potential adverse health outcomes for pregnant women and children exposed to air and water pollution from unconventional natural gas development based on a review of existing science and medical literature.

Keyword(s): Birth Outcomes, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: 1) I have participated in numerous science and public health studies, 2) I have co-authored reports and journal articles, and 3) I have more than a decade of experience working at the intersection of health, policy and science in the field of public health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.