Researchers from Duke and Boston University recently discovered thousands of gas leaks in Boston. One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston sits atop a maze of aging pipelines that delivers fuel to the residences and businesses of the city. The study has revealed the great need for repairs as these leaks could lead to fires and, in some cases, explosions.
The research team covered 785 miles of road in Boston; and, with the use of a GPS and a leak detector that measures methane, they pinpointed 3,356 individual gas leaks in the city. Several of these leaks were potentially very hazardous and the study drew attention to a problem that extends beyond Boston. According to the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 17 deaths, 68 injuries, and $133 million in property damage across the country are caused by natural gas leaks every year. This can be seen as a problem for each city to evaluate and correct, but it also reveals the need for individuals to safeguard themselves from potential risks.
Electronic leak detection systems should be installed in every home to detect and alert home owners of dangerous gas levels in their residences. While methane can lead to fires and explosions, other gases like carbon monoxide and radon have other serious health risks and need to be monitored in order to remove any threat that may exist. The results found by the research team in Boston are eye-opening and should propel not only city officials, but residents as well, to protect themselves and their families from the dangers of natural gas leaks.