Health impacts of geothermal energy

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The focus is on electric power production using geothermal resources greater than 150/sup 0/C because this form of geothermal energy utilization has the most serious health-related consequences. Based on measurements and experience at existing geothermal power plants, atmospheric emissions of noncondensing gases such as hydrogen sulfide and benzene pose the greatest hazards to public health. Surface and ground waters contaminated by discharges of spent geothermal fluids constitute another health hazard. It is shown that hydrogen sulfide emissions from most geothermal power plants are apt to cause odor annoyances among members of the exposed public - some of whom can detect ... continued below

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Pages: 15

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Layton, D.W. & Anspaugh, L.R. June 15, 1981.

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Description

The focus is on electric power production using geothermal resources greater than 150/sup 0/C because this form of geothermal energy utilization has the most serious health-related consequences. Based on measurements and experience at existing geothermal power plants, atmospheric emissions of noncondensing gases such as hydrogen sulfide and benzene pose the greatest hazards to public health. Surface and ground waters contaminated by discharges of spent geothermal fluids constitute another health hazard. It is shown that hydrogen sulfide emissions from most geothermal power plants are apt to cause odor annoyances among members of the exposed public - some of whom can detect this gas at concentrations as low as 0.002 parts per million by volume. A risk assessment model is used to estimate the lifetime risk of incurring leukemia from atmospheric benzene caused by 2000 MW(e) of geothermal development in California's Imperial Valley. The risk of skin cancer due to the ingestion of river water in New Zealand that is contaminated by waste geothermal fluids containing arsenic is also assessed. Finally, data on the occurrence of occupational disease in the geothermal industry are summarized briefly.

Physical Description

Pages: 15

Notes

NTIS, PC A02/MF A01.

Source

  • International symposium on health impacts of different sources of energy, Nashville, TN, USA, 22 Jun 1981

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  • Other: DE81023661
  • Report No.: UCRL-85334
  • Report No.: CONF-810652-2
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 6388562
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1204290

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • June 15, 1981

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 5, 2018, 11:11 p.m.

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  • Oct. 8, 2018, 4:49 p.m.

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Layton, D.W. & Anspaugh, L.R. Health impacts of geothermal energy, article, June 15, 1981; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1204290/: accessed November 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.