Report Estimates Health Impacts of Ozone Pollution from the Oil and Gas Industry

The Clean Air Task Force has released a report titled “Gasping for Breath,” analyzing the effects of ozone pollution from the oil and gas industry.  The oil and gas industry utilizes many processes and types of equipment that release ozone smog, which when inhaled “can impair lung function, trigger asthma attacks, and aggravate diseases such as bronchitis and emphysema, in some cases leading to premature death.” The report aims to “estimate the health impacts, in 2025, attributable to oil and gas during ‘ozone season,’ the five-month period from May through September when most high ozone days occur in much of the county.”

In order to reach their results, the researchers compared the health impacts “calculated in a ‘baseline case’—that is, a case based on current trends in air quality that also accounts for expected growth in oil and gas 7 production—to health impacts in a case with no emissions from the oil and gas industry.” Among other results, the report found that ozone smog from oil and gas production will nationally lead to “more than 750,000 summertime asthma attacks in children under the age of 18,” as well as “more than 2,000 asthma-related emergency room visits and over 600 respiratory related hospital admissions,” each summer. The report includes detailed national information as well as analysis of some of the most affected states. It also includes suggestions for implementation of technology, policies, and practices that would reduce the hazardous emissions.

Find the full report here.