A meeting was held on the health perspective of marcellus shale drilling Tuesday night at Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling.
The event was a collaboration between the Ohio County Medical Society, OVMC and the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce to help educate local physicians and business leaders.
"We felt with all the notoriety and visibility of marcellus shale drilling, that this would be a perfect opportunity for us to talk about the health perspectives of what drilling is all about," said Terry Sterling of the Wheeling Chamber of Commerce.
A panel made up of lawyers, emergency management officials and doctors discussed health perspectives. One widely shared concern about the industry was addressed by Dr. Alan Ducatman of West Virginia University. He discussed the mixture of chemicals and water used in the process of hydraulic fracturing.
"About 2 percent of wells in an environment will have some impact on water quality as measured so far in other places, not locally. Locally we actually haven't done enough measurements," said Ducatman.
Ducatman, who focuses his research on environmental issues, also said his patients complain of dust and noise associated with drilling.
"I can tell you it's something I hear in my clinic about the industry, and I think it's something that needs to be considered," said Ducatman.
Drilling companies still say they are taking the necessary steps to ensure a safe process.
"If you talk with some of the drilling companies, they have very elaborate steps in place to make sure the environment is protected," said Sterling.http://www.wtov9.com/