Fracking up health

Another study suggests living near a natural gas well could be sickening

Researchers from Yale University have added to a growing body of evidence linking close proximity to hydraulic fracturing wells and negative health impacts on humans.

A recent study focused on southwestern Pennsylvania and residential areas located near natural gas wells, randomly surveying 492 people in 180 homes that draw from groundwater wells, according to a university press release.

About 40 percent of those living less than 1 km away from fracking activity reported upper-respiratory problems, compared with 18 percent living more than 2 km away. Similarly, 13 percent of those within a kilometer reported rashes and other skin irritation, compared with 3 percent of those beyond 2 km.

The study’s authors noted that while causation wasn’t established, “the effect we found persisted … even after adjusting for gender, age, education level, smoking, and awareness of environmental risk factors.”