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Telephone: 412-578-9193 or 412-624-3212
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences 

Health Effects of Shale Gas Extraction Focus of Symposium on Nov. 19

Meeting Hosted by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 16, 2010 – Experts from across the country will meet in Pittsburgh on Friday, Nov. 19, to explore what is known and not known about the health impacts of extracting, refining and delivering natural gas from shale deposits, including the Marcellus Shale. The conference will identify issues for which timely research studies can be used to support sound policy decisions. Presenters also will discuss the latest research findings on water management and economics related to gas extraction.

Natural gas plays a key role in the nation’s clean energy future and energy independence. Over the past few years, several key economic and energy policy developments have spurred increased gas extraction and the use of hydraulic fracturing to recover gas over diverse geographic regions and geologic formations. However, as with any technology that involves management of potentially toxic substances, questions have been raised about the impact of increased hydraulic fracturing and other gas extraction procedures on drinking water resources, air quality, public health and the environment in the vicinity of gas extraction facilities.

“Given recent concerns voiced over gas extraction procedures such as those at the Marcellus Shale, it is essential and timely to bring together experts to share information and shape the focus of future research,” said Conrad Dan Volz, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., director of The Center for Healthy Environments and Communities at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) and assistant professor, GSPH’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

The symposium, sponsored by the Heinz Endowments and the R. K. Mellon Foundation, will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the University Club, 123 University Place, Oakland.

For more information, visit http://www.eoh.pitt.edu/marcellus.asp. Presentations will be made available on the website after the conference.

Note to Media: Registration has closed, but reporters who wish to attend should contact Anita Srikameswaran at (412) 578-9193 or SrikamAV@upmc.edu.

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