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Title: Health and environmental effects document on geothermal energy: 1981

Abstract

Several of the important health and environmental risks associated with a reference geothermal industry that produces 21,000 MW/sub e/ for 30 y (equivalent to 20 x 10/sup 18/ J) are assessed. The analyses of health effects focus on the risks associated with exposure to hydrogen sulfide, particulate sulfate, benzene, mercury, and radon in air and arsenic in water. Results indicate that emissions of hydrogen sulfide are likely to cause odor-related problems in geothermal resources areas, assuming that no pollution controls are employed. For individuals living within an 80 km radius of the geothermal resources, chronic exposure to particulate sulfate could result in between 0 to 95 premature deaths per 10/sup 18/ J of electricity generated. The mean population risk of leukemia from the inhalation of benzene was calculated to be 3 x 10/sup -2/ cases per 10/sup 18/ J. Exposure to elemental mercury in the atmosphere could produce between 0 and 8.2 cases of tremors per 10/sup 18/ J of electricity. Inhalation of radon and its short-lived daughters poses a mean population risk of 4.2 x 10/sup -1/ lung cancers per 10/sup 18/ J. Analysis of skin cancer risk from the ingestion of surface water contaminated with geothermally derived arsenicmore » suggests that a dose-response model is inconsistent with data showing that arsenic is an essential element and that excessive body burdens do not appear even when arsenic reaches 100 ..mu..g/liter in drinking water. Estimates of occupational health effects were based on rates of accidental deaths and occupational diseases in surrogate industries. According to calculations, there would be 14 accidental deaths per 10/sup 18/ J of electricity and 340 cases of occupational diseases per 10/sup 18/ J. The analysis of the effects of noncondensing gases on vegetation showed that ambient concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide are more likely to enhance rather than inhibit the growth of plants.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
5349877
Report Number(s):
UCRL-53232
ON: DE82007989
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; 63 RADIATION, THERMAL, AND OTHER ENVIRON. POLLUTANT EFFECTS ON LIVING ORGS. AND BIOL. MAT.; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; ARSENIC; CARCINOGENESIS; BENZENE; LEUKEMOGENESIS; GEOTHERMAL INDUSTRY; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; HEALTH HAZARDS; HYDROGEN SULFIDES; BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS; MERCURY; RADON; SULFATES; ACCIDENTS; AIR POLLUTION; CHEMICAL EFFLUENTS; ENERGY; HUMAN POPULATIONS; LUNGS; MORTALITY; NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES; OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES; PARTICULATES; PLANT GROWTH; PLANTS; PRODUCTION; PUBLIC HEALTH; RISK ASSESSMENT; SKIN; STATISTICS; STIMULATION; WATER POLLUTION; AROMATICS; BODY; CHALCOGENIDES; DISEASES; ELEMENTS; FLUIDS; GASES; GROWTH; HAZARDS; HYDROCARBONS; HYDROGEN COMPOUNDS; INDUSTRY; MATHEMATICS; METALS; NONMETALS; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; ORGANS; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; PARTICLES; PATHOGENESIS; POLLUTION; POPULATIONS; RARE GASES; RESPIRATORY SYSTEM; SEMIMETALS; SULFIDES; SULFUR COMPOUNDS; Geothermal Legacy; 150600* - Geothermal Energy- Environmental Aspects; 560306 - Chemicals Metabolism & Toxicology- Man- (-1987); 500200 - Environment, Atmospheric- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport- (-1989); 520200 - Environment, Aquatic- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport- (-1989); 560303 - Chemicals Metabolism & Toxicology- Plants- (-1987); 552000 - Public Health; 299002 - Energy Planning & Policy- Geothermal- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Layton, D W, Anspaugh, L R, and O'Banion, K D. Health and environmental effects document on geothermal energy: 1981. United States: N. p., 1981. Web. doi:10.2172/5349877.
Layton, D W, Anspaugh, L R, & O'Banion, K D. Health and environmental effects document on geothermal energy: 1981. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/5349877
Layton, D W, Anspaugh, L R, and O'Banion, K D. 1981. "Health and environmental effects document on geothermal energy: 1981". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/5349877. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/5349877.
@article{osti_5349877,
title = {Health and environmental effects document on geothermal energy: 1981},
author = {Layton, D W and Anspaugh, L R and O'Banion, K D},
abstractNote = {Several of the important health and environmental risks associated with a reference geothermal industry that produces 21,000 MW/sub e/ for 30 y (equivalent to 20 x 10/sup 18/ J) are assessed. The analyses of health effects focus on the risks associated with exposure to hydrogen sulfide, particulate sulfate, benzene, mercury, and radon in air and arsenic in water. Results indicate that emissions of hydrogen sulfide are likely to cause odor-related problems in geothermal resources areas, assuming that no pollution controls are employed. For individuals living within an 80 km radius of the geothermal resources, chronic exposure to particulate sulfate could result in between 0 to 95 premature deaths per 10/sup 18/ J of electricity generated. The mean population risk of leukemia from the inhalation of benzene was calculated to be 3 x 10/sup -2/ cases per 10/sup 18/ J. Exposure to elemental mercury in the atmosphere could produce between 0 and 8.2 cases of tremors per 10/sup 18/ J of electricity. Inhalation of radon and its short-lived daughters poses a mean population risk of 4.2 x 10/sup -1/ lung cancers per 10/sup 18/ J. Analysis of skin cancer risk from the ingestion of surface water contaminated with geothermally derived arsenic suggests that a dose-response model is inconsistent with data showing that arsenic is an essential element and that excessive body burdens do not appear even when arsenic reaches 100 ..mu..g/liter in drinking water. Estimates of occupational health effects were based on rates of accidental deaths and occupational diseases in surrogate industries. According to calculations, there would be 14 accidental deaths per 10/sup 18/ J of electricity and 340 cases of occupational diseases per 10/sup 18/ J. The analysis of the effects of noncondensing gases on vegetation showed that ambient concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide are more likely to enhance rather than inhibit the growth of plants.},
doi = {10.2172/5349877},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/5349877}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1981},
month = {12}
}