The number of fracking sites in Southern California may be on the decline, but The New York Times reports that people who live near natural gas hydraulic fracturing sites are at an increased risk of sinus problems, migraines, and fatigue.
Fracking Sites Tied to Multiple Illnesses
In a study cited in NYT blog post, scientists had 7,785 randomly selected people in a large Pennsylvania health system fill out health questionnaires. About a quarter met criteria for one or more of three disorders: chronic rhinosinusitis, migraine headaches and severe fatigue.
The study, in Environmental Health Perspectives, ranked participants according to how closely they lived to fracking sites and larger wells. Here were the results from those living closest to fracking sites:
- 49% were more likely to have sinusitis and migraines
- 88% more likely to have sinusitis and fatigue
- 95% more likely to have migraines and fatigue
- 84% more likely to have all three symptoms.
The senior author, Dr. Brian S. Schwartz, a physician and environmental epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said, “…there is now a growing body of evidence that this industry is associated with impacts on health that are biologically plausible. Do we know the exact mechanism? No. That requires further study.”
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