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A new study suggests that living by a fracking site is connected to a child’s increased risk of leukemia. This new research was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Researchers at Yale looked at a sample of nearly 2,500 children from Pennsylvania. There were 405 diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of cancer affecting white blood cells.
ALL is a prevalent type of cancer found in children. The survival rate is very high, but they are at a higher risk of other health issues, psychological and developmental issues, and learning difficulties.
A recent study discovered that children who live within 2 kilometres of a fracking well had a two times higher probability of developing ALL than children who don’t live near a well. Furthermore, the risk was three times higher if they lived that close to a fracking well while still in the womb.
This is after the scientists looked for other factors that may be related to getting diagnosed with cancer, like ethnic background and socioeconomic status.
Fracking, also known as unconventional oil and gas developments (UOG), pumps bedrock with water, chemicals, and sand to access stored fossil fuels trapped beneath the Earth’s surface.
There is a lot of evidence to prove that this procedure of fossil fuel extraction is horrible for the environment and public health. A number of studies have been linked to complications during pregnancy. However, some studies have examined the connection between fracking and cancer in children.
“Studies involving fracking exposure and cancer are very few. So we set out to do a high-quality study to find this potential relationship,” Cassandra Clark, the study’s author and an associate at the Yale Cancer Center, explained in a statement.
As for a likely mechanism, the study also showed that the vicinity of a fracking well to a local water supply might also contribute to leukemia risk. As fracking may contaminate water supplies if it isn’t done correctly, this possible connection makes sense.