Researchers looked at cases of acute lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and "weighed the number of those cases reported in . . . oil and gas areas against the numbers of other kinds of cancer reported in those areas," Ingold writes. "While the researchers found no link between non-Hodgkin lymphoma and oil and gas development, they did find a statistically significant correlation between oil and gas and acute lymphocytic leukemia in people ages 5-24." (CU graphic: Number of oil and gas wells in 16.1-kilometer radius from a child’s home versus the minimum distance of an oil and gas well from the child’s home for children with at least one oil and gas well within the 16.1-kilometer radius)
Wolk said the study "didn’t adequately account for other potential causes of cancer and said it also didn’t look at neighborhood turnover or length of exposure to the pollutants," Ingold writes. "Previous CDPHE studies have found benzene levels in neighborhoods near oil and gas developments within the accepted ranges, he said." Wolk said the new research only found 16 cases "of acute lymphocytic leukemia in areas of high-density oil and gas development during the study period."