In October 2018 researchers from the USA published the results of their study to assess the concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the air near fracking sites. Three active and two proposed fracking sites were identified and at each site two concentric rings of air samplers were placed around the active or proposed well pad location. In addition, silicone wristbands were given to 19 individuals living or working near the sites so that their personal exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons could be measured. Results showed that the concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the air was significantly higher at active fracking sites than at the proposed sites. An analysis of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at the active fracking sites revealed that they were more “petroleum-derived”, suggesting that they may have been affected by direct emissions from petroleum sources. When the 19 wristbands were analysed it was seen that those individuals who had active fracking wells on their properties had a significantly greater exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons than those who did not. The researchers concluded that their findings suggested that living or working near an active fracking site appears to increase an individual’s exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Paulik LB et al. Environmental and individual PAH exposures near rural natural gas extraction. Environ Pollut. 2018 Oct;241:397-405