A new medical research proved a link between the birth weight of new born babies and the fact their mothers homes are nearby hydraulic fracturing sites. This finding is based on an analysis of more than 1.1 million birth records in Pennsylvania between 2004 and 2013. After processing data, researchers found that mothers who lived within one kilometer of active sites had a 25 percent greater chance of giving birth to underweight babies, compared to mothers who lived three or more kilometers away.
They also noted that underweight babies can be more prone to illnesses and delayed development. More work is needed to determine the exact cause., however. Fracking is the process of using pressurized solutions to break up underground shale formations for oil and gas extraction from underground. It can contaminate water and air due to the chemicals employed and some previous research suggests that the process could have a significant impact on environmental and human health.
Chemicals can be hormone-disrupting and associated with infertility, birth defects, and cancer.“I don’t think we are going to ban fracking throughout the United States, it’s too economically important,” study coauthor Janet Currie, an economist at Princeton University concluded. But, he said, instead people must protect themselves. How much they can effectively do it’s another problem.