Geisinger Health System of Pennsylvania is to launch a study of health impacts in PA’s natural gas drilling region.
Working with other health systems, this initiative will develop a health surveillance network aimed at assessing and reporting on the patient data gathered from electronic health records (EHR/EMR).
“The goal is to create a cross-disciplinary, integrated and sharable repository of data on environmental exposures, health outcomes and community impacts of Marcellus shale drilling — the first systematic longitudinal study to do so,” the announcement said. “Some of the potential health effects that are likely to be investigated first include asthma, trauma and cardiovascular disease” a release stated.
The area of Pennsylvania known as the Marcellus shale region has seen increased efforts to extract natulal gas from existing underground shale formations and has been instrumental in creationg many new economic opportunities. The process, known as fracking, may hold some hidden health concerns such as possible air and water contamination.