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WHYY Radio: Powerful Piece Reports on Crystal Stroud’s Experience with Barium Poisoning and Gas Drilling

June 8, 2011

Crystal Stroud Speaks at the Pennsylvania Capitol Building, June 7, 2011, Photo by Mark Schmerling

On June 6 and 7, WHYY aired reporter Susan Phillips’ in-depth feature about Crystal Stroud, a Bradford County, PA resident whose life has been “made unrecognizable,” as Crystal said in a speech in Harrisburg June 7th, by gas drilling.

Phillips’ report includes a strong interview with Crystal Stroud, who experienced serious cardiac and other symptoms of barium poisoning after Chief Oil and Gas drilled a well 1200 feet from her home.  The WHYY story also includes a Center for Disease Control (CDC) researcher, a denial of responsibility by Chief Oil and Gas, and confirmation of the lab report by Benchmark Analytics.  It’s a must-listen at only 8 minutes.

You can listen to the audio report, and read the article, here:  In gas drilling, ‘fracking’ may not be the only threat to well water – NewsWorks

Protecting Our Waters commends Crystal Stroud for her courage in speaking out and thanks WHYY and Phillips for their coverage of the realities of “shale country,” particularly the health impacts.

If you’d like to speak up to support continued accurate and responsible coverage of the realities of gas drilling, please write to or call (215) 923-WHYY.

We found this piece of reporting to be factual yet understated.  For instance, Protecting Our Waters has heard of at least six people with barium poisoning in Bradford County, yet Phillips only reported on one. We have heard of many other substances turning up in people’s water in Bradford County – from glutaraldeyhde to MBAS – yet Phillips only reported on the barium. We have also heard of severe muscle tremors, neurological symptoms, and other health impacts residents believe may be due to water contamination caused by gas drilling in Bradford County, yet Philips only reported on Crystal Stroud’s symptoms.  Residents have reported cloudy water, sudsy water, and in one case blue-tinted water in Bradford County that they believe to be due to gas drilling contamination, but Phillips only reported on actual lab-tested results on Stroud’s water.

Please join us in encouraging continued coverage of the realities experienced by people impacted by natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region, nationwide, and globally.

One Comment
  1. June 9, 2011 2:58 pm

    I’m afraid this kind of stuff is going to be happening more and more.I don’t know much about barium poisoning but I’ll look into it. Hope you get better Crystal.

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