Home on the Fracking Well

Mothers living near fracking sites are more likely to give birth to unhealthy babies.

Analyzing over 1.1 million Pennsylvania births, research published in Science Advances found that babies born to mothers living within 2 miles of a fracking well were less healthy and more likely to be underweight than those whose mothers lived farther afield. Low birth weight can have life-long consequences, like lower test scores and heavier reliance on welfare.

The next step is finding the source, says Michael Greenstone, one of the study’s authors: “Is it the trucks? … the diesel generators?” he said—with such information “a light-touch regulatory approach” might be possible.

The Atlantic

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