Investigating links between shale gas development and health impacts through a community survey project in Pennsylvania

New Solut. 2013;23(1):55-83. doi: 10.2190/NS.23.1.e.


Across the United States, the race for new energy sources is picking up speed and reaching more places, with natural gas in the lead. While the toxic and polluting qualities of substances used and produced in shale gas development and the general health effects of exposure are well established, scientific evidence of causal links has been limited, creating an urgent need to understand health impacts. Self-reported survey research documenting the symptoms experienced by people living in proximity to gas facilities, coupled with environmental testing, can elucidate plausible links that warrant both response and further investigation. This method, recently applied to the gas development areas of Pennsylvania, indicates the need for a range of policy and research efforts to safeguard public health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Environmental Health*
  • Environmental Pollutants / toxicity
  • Extraction and Processing Industry / methods*
  • Natural Gas*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Public Health*
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Report
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Natural Gas