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Three New Studies Address Health Effects of Fracking

Three new pieces of research published in the first half of September came up with varied results on the health effects of natural gas fracking. A Yale University household survey, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that residents within a kilometre of fracking wells in Washington County, Pennsylvania were more likely to report health problems. Penn State geosciences professor Terry Engelder, publishing in the Journal of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources, determined that fracturing fluids injected into deep shale would be sequestered in perpetuity, posing no health risks to surrounding communities. And a team led by researchers from Ohio State University, publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, attributed natural gas contamination in Pennsylvania and Texas well water to poor casing and cementing in fracking wells, and called for tougher construction standards for the wells. (h/t to David Daly for pointing us to the Ohio State study)