Cliff Willmeng, R.N., is a surgical nurse and is actively involved with Colorado Community Rights Network (Facebook page). Representing East Boulder County United, Willmeng led the successful fracking ban in Lafayette last fall.
It is our human right to know the impact oil & gas development is having on our bodies. As an activist and member of the medical community, Cliff Willmeng supports human testing in the gas patch.
This study is now fully funded! The University of Oklahoma funds the laboratory work. The nurse’s services will be funded by Grand Valley Citizens Alliance.
Dr. John Hughes of Aspen Integrative Medicine will be facilitating a study for Dr. Jay Hanas, the Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Oklahoma.
We need at least 20 volunteers. These people should live in the oil & gas drilling impacted area from Silt to Rifle to Parachute/Battlement Mesa. We especially want to hear from people who are experiencing chronic health problems* including but not limited to (all or some):
Upper respiratory infections
Shortness of breath
Itchy, watery, burning eyes
Rashes and/or skin lesions
Dizziness and/or fainting spells
* By chronic health problems we mean the symptoms (listed above) persist no matter what you do to treat them, and they return. The human body responds to exposure to toxins by trying to expel them. The reaction is similar to an allergic reaction. Many people who live in the gas patch say they have “allergies” even though they didn’t have those allergies when they moved here.
** I should clarify the coughing and sneezing. Everyone coughs and sneezes. This is different. Those of you afflicted know what I’m talking about. The cough is persistent, like there’s something caught in your throat or chest and you can’t get it out. For some people it feels like a tickle they can’t get rid of. In some circles it’s known as the “Encana cough.” The point is it’s chronic. It doesn’t go away. With the sneezing it’s the same way. If you have this, it’s like you’ve come down with sneezing disease. You sneeze 10 to 20 times in a row until you think your head will explode. The sneeze attacks come without warning sometimes in the middle of the night. They happen often — daily or several times a week. They sometimes result in nosebleeds.
Dr. John Hughes also facilitated our family study which was conducted at the CSU lab. This study will be conducted at the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Jay Hanas has studied the toxic effects of jet fuel (JP-8) on humans and rats. In an email describing this sampling, Dr. Hanas said, “One of my major concerns with fracking is the toxic effects of the large amounts of diesel fuel the fracking companies use in their slick fracking, injecting in the ground with release of their carcinogenic VOC compounds into the air and water.” In this study he will be looking for cancer biomarkers in people who are impacted by oil & gas drilling.
This is a blood draw only. No urine sampling. The blood draw is painless and takes less than an hour of your time.
But the time is now! We are already lab rats for the oil & gas industry. Why not be a lab rat for science? The state of Colorado has failed us. It’s up to us to learn the facts about what fracking is doing to our health.We will not set a date for testing until we have all of our test subjects lined up. Ema Tibbetts, Hailey Kwiatkowski, and I will be participating.
Location for testing to be determined — but it will be local in western Garfield County.
If you are interested in volunteering, or if you have any questions email me, Peggy Tibbetts: email@example.com
All of your information will be kept confidential.
Please note: The purpose of this study is to determine whether the large amounts of diesel fuel used in fracking are affecting human health. This is not a study to determine whether the volunteers have VOCs in their blood. We hope to make that testing available to more people who want to be tested but the testing is very expensive so we need to obtain funding. One way to do that is to participate in other funded studies which will draw attention to the public health impacts of oil & gas development in Garfield County – and one study leads to another. We did our little family study, and the result is we have a researcher interested in studying the human health effects of diesel fuel used in fracking. There are many different aspects of oil & gas development. From drilling to fracking to pipelines, processing, and spills, there are many different ways in which oil & gas development can impact human health. Human testing is the only way to determine how we are being impacted.
Return to this post for updates.