Geisinger Health System, a Pennsylvania-based health company, has been awarded $1 million to study possible health risks associtated with natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale, reported.

Giesinger said it will use the money, which was awarded by the Degenstein Foundation, to conduct a large-scale scientific assessment of drilling for natural gas. The company plans to look at detailed health histories of hundreds of thousands of patients who live near gas wells and other natural gas production facilities in the area.

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According to a company statement, "The goal is to create a cross-disciplinary, integrated and sharable repository of data on environmental exposures, health outcomes and community impacts of Marcellus shale drilling — the first systematic longitudinal study to do so. Some of the potential health effects that are likely to be investigated first include asthma, trauma and cardiovascular disease."