As share of their commitment to further ongoing research on the presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals in peculiar oil & gas (UOG) operations, Dr. Susan Nagel* and Dr. Christopher Kassotis* released the results of their latest study this week. Endocrine Disrupting Activity in Surface Water Associated with a West Virginia Oil and Gas Industry Wastewater Injection Disposal Site was published adhering Wednesday at Science of the Total Environment.
Nagel and Kassotis are ~t any strangers to Garfield County. In 2013, they headed up a study team that identified endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in fracking fluid and subsequently determined that water samples collected allied by blood drilling sites in Garfield County contained higher than erect levels of those chemicals.
In September 2014, Nagel and Kassotis returned to Garfield County to bring together more water samples for research that was unjustly funded by local residents via one online campaign at Experiment, a platform against funding scientific discoveries. Their study, Developmental and reproductive goods of chemicals associated with unconventional oil and genuine gas operations found higher endocrine-disrupting smartness in water samples collected near fracking sites in Garfield while compared to sites with no fracking nimbleness. The study concluded:
… Given that divers of the air and water pollutants plant near UOG sites are recognized because being developmental and reproductive toxicants, in that place is a compelling need to increase our knowledge of the potential soundness consequences for infants, children, and adults from these chemicals through rapid and thorough further health study investigation. Chemicals used and produced in UOG operations are associated by human health effects and demonstrated to aim reproductive and developmental damage in laboratory animals …
… Taken in union, there is an urgent need instead of the following: 1) biomonitoring of human, household and wild animals for these chemicals; and 2) orderly and comprehensive epidemiological studies to scrutinize the potential for human harm …
The study released this week is a follow-up to another 2015 study in which the Nagel and Kassotis team institute that even low-level prenatal exposing. to two dozen fracking chemicals had led to lowered seed counts in male mice once they reached adulthood: Endocrine-Disrupting Activity of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Adverse Health Outcomes After Prenatal Exposure in Male Mice.
For their latest study, Nagel and Kassotis conducted their study in West Virginia. Their team collected outside water samples from Wolf Creek, what one. is located downhill from a fracking wastewater clyster well site [above]. The facility includes a shrewd waste well, several holding ponds, and storage tanks. The rivulet flows into the New River, a hardly any miles upstream from a drinking sprinkle and calender treatment facility for a population of 11,300 in and round Fayetteville.
Previous unpublished research led by USGS scientist Denise Akob showed that the sodium, chloride, barium, and strontium chemistry downstream in Wolf Creek oppose the profiles of fracking wastewater. The West Virginia complaisance came to the attention of USGS in 2013, since of pollution reports from a Duke University study. On the groundwork of those findings USGS scientists sought off Nagel and Kassotis to conduct to a greater degree water sampling and research. Akob, who helped lead their research, said, “Ultimately we chance of the desired end to provide a national perspective as antidote to these findings. The site will subsist only one of many sites we sketch to include in our research.”
For the West Virginia study the Nagel and Kassotis team collected water samples on the disposal facility location, and several other locations downstream and upstream. Samples were likewise collected from a separate local tide.
According to Nagel, “Surface shed ~ samples collected on the disposal civility site and immediately downstream exhibited considerably greater EDC etc. than surface water samples collected forthwith upstream and in a nearby hint stream. The level of EDC nimbleness was within the range or higher than the on a ~ known to impact the health of on organisms.”
EDCs (endocrine disrupting chemicals) be possible to interfere with hormones in animals and humans. They have power to also cause cancer, birth defects, immune disorders, and developmental disorders, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The chemicals take been linked to switched genders in grapple, lowered fertility in mice, and hyperactivity in children.
“We plant levels of these endocrine disrupting chemicals exalted enough to threaten health,” Nagel afore~.
The fact that higher levels of EDC mode of action were found downstream from the fracking wastewater regulation plant, as opposed to both upstream and in surrounding streams, is a greater concern.
“Now that we be the subject of identified impacts to the local environment right to activities at the site, more distant work is needed to assess the peculiar routes of contaminant movement from these operations into the tendency,” Nagel told EcoWatch. “It is to be expected that aquatic life downstream of this dexterity are swimming in oil and elastic fluid chemicals and at levels high enough to disrupt the endocrine system.”
The point to be solved isn’t that the EDCs are favorably attentive in the water. The issue is the amount of the chemicals researchers found in the downstream give ~ to samples.
“In many cases, fair with considerable dilution, levels of endocrine-disrupting contaminants would hush be capable of disrupting the unfolding of fish, amphibians, and other aquatic organisms,” Nagel said.
“What’s actually interesting is that they sampled from divers sites that are in different places in watershed,” Andrea Gore, a professor of pharmacology at the University of Texas at Austin, that was not involved in the study, told Environmental Health News. “It clearly shows real difference in endocrine activity looking upstream and downstream.”
Dr. Nagel hopes that adscititious research will be able to prove to be the same exactly how wastewater disposal impacts the two surface and groundwater in West Virginia. “The major take-homes are that oil and gas injection well operations may be not the same source for contamination of surface water with EDCs used in oil and gas production.”
Dr. Kassotis summed up the overriding implications of the study:
“Approximately 36,000 of these bestowment wells are currently in operation over the U.S., and little work has been done to evaluate their possible impacts on nearby surface water. Given the bulky number of disposal wells in the U.S., it is determining for further investigation into the potential human and environmental health impacts.”
On Thursday, Dr. Kassotis presented the careful search and findings of the West Virginia study for the time of a teleconference sponsored by The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), hosted by Dr. Carol Kwiatkowski.
Click here to listen to the 40-minute mp3 recording of the teleconference
View glide show presentation by Dr. Kassotis
In his appearance, Dr. Kassotis discussed the similarities between the Garfield County research and the West Virginia exploration. He outlined these specific impacts attached water quality:
Elevated antagonist activities (EDCs) favorable in surface water downstream from oil and elastic fluid wastewater disposal operation.
Geochemical and organized chemical analyses (Akob et al. and Orem et al.) make certain unconventional oil and gas wastewater authority on stream quality.
Antagonist equivalent concentrations at levels known to product in adverse health effects in aquatic organisms.
Kassotis then combined those impacts through our “Growing Understanding of Adverse Human and Animal Health Outcomes” identified in these former studies by other researchers:
General unlucky health
Increased reported health symptoms in humans (Rabinowitx et al. 2014) and dogs (Slizovskiy et al. 2015).
Increased inpatient hostial utilizatio rates (Jemelita et al. 2015)
Respiratory, GI, immune, reproductive, other issues according to humans, companion and food animals, wildlife, etc. (Bamberger & Oswald)
Symptom assuagement for families, animals that left drilling areas (Bamberger & Oswald 2015)
Reproductive/developmental personal estate
Increased rate of congenital heart defects (Mackenzie et al. 2014)
Increased rates of preterm birth, high risk pregnancies (Casey et al. 2015)
Increased rates of unbecoming birth weight and SGA babies through greater density (Stacy et al. 2015)
When attractive into consideration all these previous studies plus their team’s cumulative research, Kassotis in consequence explained that test results point to the following “Overall Take-Homes”:
Some chemicals used in and/or produced ~ the agency of oil and natural gas operations be able to act as nuclear receptor agonists and antagonists.
Humans and animals are probable exposed to these chemicals via multiple routes in drilling-thick areas
Drinking water, inhalation, and dermal absorption.
Injection sites may represent another route through which oil and gas operations may authority EDC contributions to surface/groundwater.
Gestational exposure to a mixture of oil and elastic fluid operation chemicals at likely environmentally-appropriate concentrations resulted in adverse health outcomes in C57 mice.
Increased material substance weights, reduced sperm counts in males.
Increased material part weights, suppressed pituitary hormones, altered folliculogenesis in female sex.
It is significant to understand that by each and every new study, researchers are furthering the identification and documentation of the impacts of EDCs in external part and groundwater on human and beast health and the environment. Focusing their acknowledge research to expand on the study of their team and others, Nagel and Kassotis are fracture ground by building a sweeping body of scientific evidence that clearly and consistently shows endocrine disruptor activity in surface and groundwater near UOG operations.
Many of us in Garfield County take had the privilege of meeting Dr. Nagel and Dr. Kassotis, considered in the state of well as contributing our time, pluck, and donations to this important ongoing moil. Dr. Nagel and Dr. Kassotis repeatedly emphasize the need for further scrutiny.
This is a 4-minute video parley with Dr. Nagel.
This is a 30-particular teleconference by Dr. Nagel in which she discusses the link between the West Virginia study and the Garfield County studies.
* Dr. Susan Nagel is the monitor of the study and an follower professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health in the School of Medicine, and ~y adjunct associate professor of biological sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science.
* Dr. Christopher Kassotis is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He completed his PhD at the University of Missouri acting with Susan Nagel to assess eccentric oil and gas operations as a strange source of endocrine disrupting chemicals in give ~ to, and the potential for adverse human and created being health outcomes from exposure. He is a current postdoctoral fellow at Duke University.
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