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Jan-06-2012 15:27printcomments

Fracking/Public Health Controversy - National Conference on Shale Gas Production Impacts to be Held in DC

The conference addressws industrial, geologic, toxicological, epidemiological, and health care factors.

A shale-gas drilling and fracking site in Dimock, Pennsylvania. Courtesy: Vanity Fair

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - On January 9, 2012, the nonprofit Physicians Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE) and the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment (MACCHE) will conduct a conference bringing together experts from various research areas to address the public health aspects of unconventional natural gas drilling (also known as “hydro fracking”).

Public health experts, physicians and epidemiologists are invited to attend the “Epidemiologic and Public Health Considerations of Shale Gas Production: The Missing Link” conference event from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Waterview Conference Center, 1919 North Lynn Street, Arlington, VA. Conference fees are $75. Full program/registration details are available online at

The PSE/MACCHE conference will be open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. to credentialed members of the news media who register in advance to attend.

The January 9th conference arose from a suggestion made by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to investigate the methodological aspects of creating long- and short-term epidemiological studies of the health implications of hydrofracking. The January 2012 conference will address the complex methodological issues associated with the needed research, helping to coordinate studies that address industrial, geologic, toxicological, epidemiological, and health care factors.

Conference highlights will include:

* Welcoming and morning keynote remarks: Adam Law, MD, Weill Cornell Medical College, PSE; and Jerome Paulson, MD, George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, MACCHE.

* Three open morning panel sessions: “Chemicals and Pathways of Exposure Associated with the Development of Shale Gas Plays”; “Evaluating Potential Health Impacts of Natural Gas Development in a Residential Community using Health Impact Assessment”; and "State of the Law: Federal, State and Local Regulation of Hydrofracturing.”

* Afternoon keynote speaker: Dr. Vikas Kapil, DO, MPH, chief medical officer, National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

* Three closed afternoon workshops : “Issues in Epidemiologic Methodology”; “Issues in Surveying Environmental and Human Health Impacts”; and “Issues in Clinical Services & Treatment”.

Qualified professionals interested in participating in full day’s program should contact PSE Program Director Jake Hays, at (401) 742-4303 or

The nonprofit Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy (PSE) is dedicated to supplying vetted, evidence-based, scientific information and resources on unconventional gas development (high-volume hydrofracking) and other novel energy production methods. PSE's mission is to bring transparency to the important public policy issues surrounding such methods, helping to level the playing field for citizens, advocacy groups, media, policy-makers and politicians.  For more information, go to on the Web.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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