Study Indicates Hazards For Drilling Chemicals

Nobody in Western Colorado can argue the importance of natural gas production to the economy, but a team of environmental scientists have unveiled some new data that suggests the chemicals used in production can lead to health issues.

The study, headed by endocrinologist Dr. Theo Colborn, was discussed at Mesa State College Thursday and looked at 171 products containing 245 chemicals that are used in natural gas development.

The study shows that nearly 50 percent of the chemicals have between 4 and 14 reported health effects ranging from respiratory complications to cancer, while nearly a quarter have no reported effects.

But with evaporation ponds being proposed near sparsly populated parts of De Beque, some say the effects have to be recognized and remedied.

The evaporation facility near De Beque is set to go in front of the Mesa County Planning Commission next week.