The Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project has opened in Washington County.
The effort is in response to growing concern over potential health impacts from drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale.
The project is funded by the Pittsburgh-based Heinz Endowments, the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Claneil Foundation.
The office will help area residents recognize and understand exposure pathways in the air and water, reported Don Hopey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
It will work with residents to then schedule medical exams and evaluations to diagnose health problems that may result from such exposures, said Raine Rippel, the project director.
An on-site nurse practitioner is available for home visits, exams and consultations.
Washington County has about 700 Marcellus wells, more than any other county in southwest Pennsyvania. It also has at least a dozen compressor stations.
Impacts include stomach aches, headaches, nosebleeds and cognitive difficulties as well as stress-related disorders, said Dr. Leslie Walleigh, a physician and a project consultant.
The project is reportedly the first program of its kind to study health impacts from shale drilling.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.