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Meeting 3 with PA DOH - Radioactive Waste Streams Are Not Explicitly Excluded from Investigation

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

On March 2, PSR PA and Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project met with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) for a third time to discuss two health studies commissioned by the DOH last year. These studies were planned in collaboration with University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health to investigate the health impacts of fracking, after growing concern from residents, health professionals, and advocates across PA. Until this most recent meeting, the DOH had dismissed the possibility of including the investigation of radioactive waste streams, which are well-documented to be hazardous to health.

When questioned on whether radioactive waste streams would be examined, the DOH now states that radioactive waste streams are not explicitly excluded from the scope of the study and that the decision largely falls to the University of Pittsburgh. The groups also asked whether the DOH would release specific guidance to physicians regarding messaging while treating members of affected communities. The DOH stated it would not raise alarm in the community before they had more information on health impacts.

“People are sick and children have died; the alarms have already been set off!” said

Laura Dagley, Medical Advocacy Coordinator for PSR PA and a registered nurse. “The

DOH continues to not acknowledge the body of research already out there, even though

one of their studies is designed after a previous study showing negative health impacts

from fracking.”

“The mission of the DOH includes the prevention of injury and disease; it remains that designing a retrospective academic study that ignores radioactive waste streams falls short of that mission and will not help residents and workers know whether or not it is currently safe to live and work in their respective environments,” said Tammy Murphy, Advocacy Director of PSR PA.

Please consider taking these actions to help keep PA safe!

  • Click here to read a press release written by the three advocacy groups after their meeting with the DOH.

  • Click here to sign a petition to the Pennsylvania Department of Health calling for a comprehensive study into the health impacts of fracking.

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