Air Pollution From Oil & Gas Operations Poses A Threat To Public Health In Tennessee

Thousands of tonnes of air pollutants are released into the atmosphere each year by the oil and gas sector in the United States. There are vast quantities of harmful air pollutants and pollutants that contribute to ozone smog pollution in this mixture, which contains methane, a powerful climate pollutant, as well as enormous amounts of other pollutants. Environmental toxins cause cancer and other illnesses, whereas ozone pollution may cause a number of health issues, including asthma attacks and the exacerbation of symptoms associated with chronic lung disorders such as bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases.

As air pollution spreads throughout the nation, these pollutants not only create health concerns in locations where there is an oil and gas boom and a lot of activity, but they also cause difficulties in other areas. A look at how air pollution from oil and gas operations affects the health of individuals in Tennessee is explored in this information sheet.

Ozone haze is generated by pollution from oil / gas installations around the country. This smog is harmful to the health of Tennesseans, as follows:

Ozone pollution from this sector causes asthma episodes in about 25,000 Tennessee children each year (see Figure).

As a result of oil and gas air pollution, over 4,700 asthma attacks occur each year in the Memphis area, nearly 2,600 attacks occur each year in the Knoxville area, and nearly 7,200 attacks occur each year in the Nashville area. Unfortunately, neither county in the state is exempt from the ozone pollution caused by the oil and gas industry.

Exposure to ozone has negative consequences for adults as well, with 52,000 user of restricted movement in Tennessee connected to increased levels of ozone in the air.

Air pollution from of the oil and gas sector also contains harmful and toxic air pollutants including such benzene, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde, among other things. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s statistics for 2011, over 16,000 oil and gas installations in Tennessee produced more than 170 tonnes of dangerous toxic air pollution, including benzene, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde, among other chemicals.

357,000 people reside within a half-mile from active oil and gas facilities in Tennessee, making it the state with the largest concentration. Individuals who live in close proximity to sources of toxic air pollution might suffer from the effects of these emissions.

In Tennessee, approximately 500 schools are situated within a ½ of oil and gas operations, making them particularly sensitive to air pollutants among children.

The basic fact is that air pollution from the oil and gas sector is affecting people of all ages in Tennessee and adjacent states, particularly children. Strengthened federal rules for air emissions from the oil and gas sector, such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s new well and equipment requirements as well as the Bureau of Land Management’s Waste Rules for wells on federal lands, are required for Tennesseans.


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