Relating reported illnesses to air pollutants detected near oil and gas operations in and around Karnes County, Texas
Not everyone living within Texas’s Eagle Ford shale oil and gas boom has benefited from it. This is becoming apparent in Karnes County, where residents report a decline in their health as shale development increased.
Hazards in the Air, a collaboration between Earthworks and Northeastern University’s Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, explores the known human health hazards of chemicals found in air samples taken close to oil and gas operations in, and upwind of, Karnes County, and compares them to health problems reported by people living in Karnes County.
The study was conducted in two parts:
- In-depth interviews with 18 Karnes County residents about their health and concerns for air quality impacts by oil and gas operations.
- Air sampling at eight oil and gas facilities selected based upon community concerns for sensitive populations – e.g., daycare centers – adjacent to oil and gas operations, agency reports of violation, and/or volatile organic compound pollution detected by an optical gas imaging (OGI) camera (FLIR GasFinder 320).