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Fact Sheet 2009–3096

Health Effects of Energy Resources

By William Orem,1 Calin Tatu,2 Nikola Pavlovic,3 Joseph Bunnell,1 Allan Kolker,1 Mark Engle,1 and Ben Stout4

1 USGS, Reston, VA.
2 Department of Biology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania.
3 Institute for Biomedical Research, Medical Faculty, University of Nis, Nis, Serbia.
4 Department of Biology, Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, WV.

Thumbnail of front cover and link to report (4.0 MB)


Energy resources (coal, oil, and natural gas) are among the cornerstones of modern industrial society. The exploitation of these resources, however, is not without costs. Energy materials may contain harmful chemical substances that, if mobilized into air, water, or soil, can adversely impact human health and environmental quality. In order to address the issue of human exposure to toxic substances derived from energy resources, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Energy Resources Program developed a project entitled “Impacts of Energy Resources on Human Health and Environmental Quality.” The project is intended to provide policymakers and the public with the scientific information needed to weigh the human health and environmental consequences of meeting our energy needs. This fact sheet discusses several areas where the USGS Energy Resources Program is making scientific advances in this endeavor.

First posted January 2010

For additional information contact:

William H. Orem
U.S. Geological Survey
Mail Stop 956
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive Reston, VA 20192

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:
Orem, W.H., Tatu, Calin, Pavlovic, Nikola, Bunnell, Joseph, Kolker, Allan, Engle, Mark, and Stout, Ben, 2010, Health effects of energy resources: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3096, 5 p. (Also available at

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