The Endocrine Disruption Exchange

Oil & Gas Program


Fracking and Health: Ask an Expert

Get answers to your questions about health threats posed by unconventional oil and gas operations as TEDX interviews leading experts and records their answers in short podcasts.

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We invite you to submit a question for our series.

Dr. Marsha HaleyDr. Marsha Haley, Radiation Oncology Physician and Clinical Assistant Professor at Magee-Womens Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), answers the question, “How Can We Set Safe Setback Distances?” She discusses the factors that must be addressed to minimize risk when determining setback distances and recommends strategies for developing meaningful dialogue between affected communities and lawmakers. Read her study on the topic. 

MichelleBamberger Dr. Michelle Bamberger, a veterinarian and researcher investigating links between human and animal health and unconventional oil and gas extraction, answers the question, “Is our food at risk from livestock raised near fracking operations?” She discusses potential exposure scenarios, health impacts, and the possible contamination of our food supply. Read more on the topic.

Seth Shonkoff_Pic-edited2Dr. Seth Shonkoff, Executive Director of Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy, answers the question, "Is our food at risk from oil and gas wastewater repurposed for crop irrigation?" He discusses the many unknown factors surrounding the practice of irrigating with oilfield wastewater and describes a potential model for monitoring the water and protecting the public.

TELEConference calls

Health effects associated with unconventional oil and gas

TEDX hosts 30-minute teleconference calls with scientists studying how chemicals associated with unconventional oil and gas development may be affecting health. Download the slides and follow along as scientists deliver presentations on their recent research, followed by Q&A.

Videos and Webinars 

The following are video and webinar presentations given by TEDX staff.  

  • Ashley Bolden: New Look at BTEX: Are Ambient Levels a Problem? On this call, evidence from TEDX's review was presented suggesting that low BTEX exposure are connected to developmental, respiratory, and immune effects like reduced fetal growth, asthma, and increased susceptibility to allergy. (30 min., May 2015, The Collaborative on Health and the Environment)
  • Dr. Carol Kwiatkowski: Fracking Here? Think About It! This is an overview of unconventional oil and gas development, and research results from air sampling in Garfield and Delta Counties in Colorado presented at a community forum held in Hotchkiss, CO. (40 min., April 2015, Citizens for a Healthy Community)
  • Dr. Carol Kwiatkowski: Natural Gas Development, Public Health and Protecting the Most Vulnerable Populations. This presentation is about the public health implications of natural gas operations, with an emphasis on air pollution and the risks they might hold for vulnerable populations, including children and pregnant women. (50 min., April 2014, Center for Environmental Health)
  • Dr Theo Colborn: Natural Gas Operations, Air Emission Exposure, and Recommendations to the Healthcare Communitya Continuing Medical Education (CME) course implemented by Physicians Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy. (45 min., April 2014, PSE)
  • Dr. Theo Colborn: The Fossil Fuel Connection , a short video from LinkTV. (6 min., 2013, LinkTV.org)
  • Dr. Theo Colborn: Natural Gas: The Rest of the Story. Dr. Colborn speaks to an audience in western Colorado on the hazards posed to human and environmental health by air pollution from natural gas operations. (24 min., March 2012, Citizens for a Healthy Community)
  • Dr. Theo Colborn: Fracking: Implications for Human and Environmental Health. This call featured leading researchers in different fields of expertise who discussed the potential human and environmental health implications of fracking. (60 min., November 2010, The Collaborative on Health and the Environment)
  • Dr. Theo Colborn: What You Need to Know About Natural Gas Production. This video illustrates how natural gas is not the 'clean energy' that industry touts it to be and calls for full public disclosure of all chemicals involved in drilling and fracturing. (47 min., 2009, TEDX) Request a DVD.