The state health department abandoned, for the time being, its plans for the research one week after receiving Ludlam's email, withdrawing its application for federal funding.
The project's demise has left the state's leading environmental doctors discouraged. "It is tragic," said Teitelbaum. "We are going lickety split ahead with the drilling along the East Coast and nobody knows what the hell is going on. And nobody wants to spend any money on it."
While Teitelbaum and others wait for answers, Wallace-Babb continues to grapple with the ailments that drove her from Colorado.
In 2006, she moved to Winnsboro, Texas, a small town two hours east of Dallas. For three years her symptoms gradually improved, until she could work in her garden and go about her normal daily routine. Then, early last year, Exxon launched a project in an old oil field 14 miles away and began fracking wells to get them to produce more oil. Within months, Wallace-Babb's symptoms returned. Again, she wears a respirator to visit the grocery store. Again, she is looking to move.
"It's one thing if you choose to work for that industry and you get damaged from that exposure," Wallace-Babb said. "At least they made money. But if you are just living and minding your own business and your life gets torn asunder, it's different.
"I made nothing. I got all the damage."