Friday, December 05, 2014

Fracking chemicals pose serious health concerns, especially to children and mothers, study finds

"Fracking operations use and create chemicals linked to birth defects, infertility, miscarriage, impaired foetal growth, low birth weight, preterm birth and premature or delayed sexual development, among other health problems," says a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Reviews on Environmental Health, Will Nichols reports for Business Green.

Researchers at the Center for Environmental Health, the Institute for Health and the Environment at the State University of New York and the University of Missouri conducted the study.

Researchers found "more than 750 chemicals may be used in fracking operations, many of which are 'routinely released' into the environment, posing a potential threat to nearby communities," Nichols writes. Substances used in fracking "include about 130 known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), which have been linked to a range of health problems including altered reproductive function, increased incidence of breast cancer, abnormal growth and developmental delays in children and changes in immune function."

"The report says benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX chemicals), a commonly used fracking cocktail, are associated with impaired sperm quantity and quality in men and could affect menstruation and fecundity in women, while acute exposure to heavy metals released from fracking is associated with increased risk of miscarriage and/or stillbirths," Nichols writes.

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