Friday, October 09, 2015

Fracking linked to premature births, says study by researchers with ties to sustainability organization

A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University published in the journal Epidemiology "suggests pregnant women living near [hydraulic fracturing] wells in Pennsylvania are more likely to give birth prematurely or have high risk pregnancies," Sean Cockerham reports for McClatchy Newspapers.

Researchers, who studied more than 9,000 mothers who gave birth in north and central Pennsylvania between 2009 and 2013, "found that living among the most active quartile of fracking activity was associated with a 40 percent increase in premature birth and a 30 percent increase in reported high-risk pregnancies, which can mean factors like high blood pressure or excessive weight gain," Cockerham writes.

Nicole Jacobs, Pennsylvania director for Energy In Depth, a research arm of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, criticized the study, saying it “doesn’t take any environmental samples and relies heavily on assumptions,” Cockerham writes. She also noted that lead researcher Brian Schwartz is a fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, an organization which says its "mission is to lead the transition to a more resilient, equitable and sustainable world by providing individuals and communities with the resources needed to understand and respond to the interrelated economic, energy and ecological crises of the 21st century." (Read more)

No comments: