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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Low birth weights associated with nearness to fracking operations in SWPA

"June 3 - PITTSBURGH, Pa. (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via PRWEB - Pregnant women living close to a high density of natural gas wells drilled with hydraulic fracturing were more likely to have babies with lower birth weights than women living farther from such wells, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis of southwestern Pennsylvania.

The finding does not prove that the proximity to the wells caused the lower birth weights, but it is a concerning association that warrants further investigation, the researchers concluded. The study was funded by The Heinz Endowments and published in the current issue of PLOS ONE. "Our work is a first for our region and supports previous research linking unconventional gas development and adverse health outcomes," said co-author Bruce Pitt, Ph.D., chair of Pitt Public Health's Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. "These findings cannot be ignored. There is a clear need for studies in larger populations with better estimates of exposure and more in-depth medical records.""

http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0126425&representation=PDF