This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

PA Study Links Fracking to Health Hazards in Fetuses, Infants, and Young Children

"Ocean City, NJ - June 15, 2015 – In one of the first studies of its kind, Joseph J. Mangano of the Radiation and Public Health Project found disturbing links between hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and health effects in children younger than five years old. In the report “Health Hazards to Fetuses, Infants, and Young Children in Heavily-fracked Areas of Pennsylvania,” funded by the Pittsburgh Foundation, Mangano explains that as a relatively new technology in the landscape of natural gas extraction, fracking hasn’t been extensively studied with regards to health impacts on nearby residents. His study compares morbidity and mortality rates for several age groups living in eight heavily-fracked counties in the state with the same data in the rest of Pennsylvania. Heavily-fracked counties included in the study were Bradford, Washington, Tioga, Susquehanna, Lycoming, Greene, Westmoreland, and Fayette.

Mangano found that heavily-fracked counties have 13.9% greater infant mortality, 23.6% greater perinatal mortality, 3.4% more low-weight births, 12.4% more premature births, and 35.1% more cancer in children ages zero to four."