Does Marcellus Shale Gas have Cancer-Causing Radon?
MDN has previously written about anti-drillers who try to use the scare tactic that “there’s radon in Marcellus gas” and the radon is going to cause lots of new cases of lung cancer in New York City (see this MDN story). No one in the mainstream press is picking up on this latest anti-drilling meme, so the same groups have issued a new press release hoping to keep the issue alive (see their press release below).
In a nutshell, they argue that Marcellus Shale gas is extracted in areas of the northeast where there’s lots of naturally occurring radon, and because the gas gets to market so quickly (Pennsylvania Marcellus gas fields are “right next door” to NYC), the radon has no chance to naturally dissipate. When radon hits the air, it dissipates and becomes harmless. Radon has a half life of 3.5 days—breaking down and becoming harmless at that point. The concern, apparently, is that the gas will get to market and used in under 3.5 days.