Press Release

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New Analysis Finds Asthma Attacks Linked to Oil & Gas

Ohio Environmental Council, August 31, 2016

Today, the Ohio Environmental Council and the Clean Air Task Force released a new analysis showing that 7,129 childhood asthma attacks in the Columbus metro area, and 7,558 in the Cleveland metro area each year are due to smog resulting from oil and gas operations.
“What this report clearly shows us is that air pollution from the oil and gas industry can have a significant impact on children’s health even in areas far from oil and gas production” said, Melanie Houston, Director of Oil and Gas at the Ohio Environmental Council. “As the mother of a young child, I can’t stress enough that safeguards are urgently needed to protect our children and communities from this dangerous pollution. Cutting methane pollution from oil and gas will have an immediate benefit for our children.”
Oil and gas production emits air pollution that forms smog, especially during the warm summer months. This smog creates a real threat for children who suffer from asthma. Nationally, smog resulting from oil and gas pollution is responsible for:
  • More than 750,000 asthma attacks in children
  • Over 500,000 days of school missed
  • Nearly 2,000 asthma-related emergency room visits 
  • Over 600 respiratory-related hospital admissions
  • More than 1.5 million restricted activity days
“Our children are our most precious resource – not oil and gas,” says Laura Burns, a concerned mother. “When air quality declines, so does the health of our children, and that’s unacceptable.”
While those who live near oil and gas facilities may face the largest impacts, communities across the country are likewise burdened with the negative health and climate impacts associated with oil and gas development.
“Air pollution knows no borders,” said Linda Diamond of the American Lung Association. “Methane pollution from the oil and gas industry directly increases smog levels, which increases asthma risks in Ohio. We must do all we can to safeguard children from this toxic air pollutant.”
The map displays information about the threats faced by people living in Ohio from pollution from the oil and gas industry. In addition to data on asthma attacks and other health impacts, the threat map displays county-level data about cancer and respiratory health risk.
To access the map, visit