Erie veterinarian plans to study VOC levels in dogs

This little guy protested fracking in Eckington, Scotland. The Scottish government banned fracking this week.

Humans living in close proximity to oil & gas operations often notice changes in their dogs’ behavior and health before they notice or experience changes in their own minds and bodies. That’s because dogs tend to spend a lot of time outdoors which consistently exposes them to more VOCs (volatile organic compounds) than their humans.

Veterinarian Jennifer Fick lives near the Waste Connections drilling site operated by Crestone Peak Resources in Erie, Colorado. Before drilling began Dr. Fick began a pilot study to investigate VOC levels in dogs. Now that drilling is underway, she wants to continue testing the dogs’ urine samples for VOCs throughout the duration of activity at the Waste Connections and Pratt sites. She believes that testing VOC levels in dogs will yield a more accurate picture of the concentrations of VOCs near these drilling sites than air quality monitoring.

“Colorado politicians and members of the oil and gas industry tell us that it is safe to put these industrial activities within highly populated areas. Yet they have no evidence to support their claims,” says. Dr. Fick. “In truth, no one knows the ‘safe distance’ for how close to homes we should allow drilling and fracking to operate.”

Dr. Fick is conducting this study with the assistance of two other veterinarians, and a professor at the University of Missouri. However testing is expensive. The cost to run tests on each urine sample is $350.

Her research team is hoping to raise $25,000 through GoFundMe to cover expenses.

Click here and make a donation to help with this important research.

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