We have been covering the link between exposure to fracking chemicals and adverse health outcomes for several years now. This latest research presents even more disturbing news as the findings link adverse outcomes for babies born to mothers living near fracking activities.
After combing through a decade’s worth of Pennsylvania birth records, researchers have found that pregnant women living within two-thirds of a mile of a hydraulic fracturing well were 25% more likely to give birth to a worryingly small infant than were women who lived at least 10 miles outside that zone during pregnancy.
Over these babies’ lifetimes, their low birth weights raise the likelihood they will suffer poorer health and lower achievement, including reduced earnings and educational attainment.
The authors of the new research estimated that, in 2012, about 29,000 of the close to 4 million annual births in the United States — roughly 0.7% of babies born each year — were to women who lived within about two-thirds of a mile of a hydraulic fracturing operation during their pregnancies.
The study was published in the journal Science Advances.
Journal Reference: Currie, J, Greenstone, M. & Meckel, K. Hydraulic fracturing and infant health: New evidence from Pennsylvania, Science Advances 13 Dec 2017: Vol. 3, no. 12, e1603021. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603021