November 5, 2016
According to research conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public
Health, asthmatic people who are living close to natural gas wells used for fracking are
more likely to have asthma attacks than those who don’t live as close to them. In fact, a
study reported by Alternet expressed that fracking endangers people, particularly young
ones, as it negatively affects the health of the lungs, heart, and immune system. In
“Potential Hazards of Air Pollutant Emissions from Unconventional Oil and Natural Gas
Operations on the Respiratory Health of Children and Infants,” a study from “Reviews on
Environmental Health,” it is explained that the negative health effects can also affect
children in the womb, as well as name the elements which contribute towards these
effects. It names benzene, formaldehyde, and silica dust, which have all been connected to
health effects in regards to respiration.
It is recommended that, at the least, fracking should be done one mile away from
populated areas, such as houses, child care facilities, and educational facilities.
Researchers in Pennsylvania expressed that as many as 53,000 people who are less then 10
years old were regularly less than a mile from fracking sites. In fact, it had also been
expressed that over 17 million people in America lived in residences that were less than a
mile from fracking sites.
A fracking-related map made by Healthy Schools Pennsylvania revealed that dozens
of pipeline compression stations, which have been known to contribute towards air
pollution, were located about a mile from various schools in Pennsylvania. The state has
also had hundreds of violations in regards to its environment-related laws, all of which
happened close to either a school or day care. Also, about a dozen violations happened
close to a hospital. In the western part United States, Western Resource Advocates
researchers discovered in 2012 that dozens of schools were within 1,000 of fracking wells.
Dr. Marsha Haley of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute went on to explain
that the setback distances where are made to keep fracking wells and heavily populated
areas is too insufficient to maintain public health. There’s the notion of the long-term
health of children being put at risk, along with the risk of explosions and other dangerous
incidents. Bernie Sanders went as so far as to say that in the case people are serious about
sanitation, health, and climate, then fracking should be gone from the nation.
Benham, B. (2016, July 18). Study links fracking industry wells to increased risk of asthma attacks. Retrieved from http://hub.jhu.edu/2016/07/18/fracking-asthma-attacks-study/
Kelly, S. (2016, May 23). Fracking’s Air Pollution Puts Infants and Children at Risk of Developing Heart, Lung Problems: New Study. Retrieved from http://www.alternet.org/environment/frackings-air-pollution-puts-infants-and-children-risk- developing-heart-lung-problems
Image credit (https://votefrackfree.org/whatisfracking/)