Johns Hopkins Bloomburg School of Public Health study results published: Fracking Industry Wells Associated With Premature Birth
"Expectant mothers who live near active natural gas wells operated by
the fracking industry in Pennsylvania are at an increased risk of giving
birth prematurely and for having high-risk pregnancies, new Johns
Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests. The
findings, published online last week in the journal Epidemiology, shed
light on some of the possible adverse health outcomes associated with
the fracking industry, which has been booming in the decade since the
first wells were drilled. Health officials have been concerned about the
effect of this type of drilling on air and water quality, as well as
the stress of living near a well where just developing the site of the
well can require 1,000 truck trips on once-quiet roads.
growth in the fracking industry has gotten way out ahead of our ability
to assess what the environmental and, just as importantly, public health
impacts are,” says study leader Brian S. Schwartz, MD, a professor in
the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Bloomberg School.
“More than 8,000 unconventional gas wells have been drilled in
Pennsylvania alone and we’re allowing this while knowing almost nothing
about what it can do to health. Our research adds evidence to the very
few studies that have been done in showing adverse health outcomes
associated with the fracking industry.” In Pennsylvania in 2006, there were fewer than 100 unconventional gas wells; now there are more than 8,000."