According to a new study, children who are born close to fracking and other “unconventional” drilling locations have a 2 to 3 times higher chance of getting childhood leukaemia.
The study, which was published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, examined the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, the most prevalent kind of childhood leukaemia, with the distance between residences and unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD) sites (ALL).
405 Pennsylvanian kids aged 2 to 7 who had been diagnosed with ALL between 2009 and 2017 were the subject of the study. These children were contrasted with a control group of 2,080 children who were free of the condition and matched for birth year.
Unconventional oil and gas development, according to research co-author Nicole Deziel of the Yale School of Public Health, “may both use and release chemicals that have been related to cancer.” She stated that it is “a huge public health concern” because kids who live close to such facilities could be exposed to chemical carcinogens.
According to the Oil & Gas Threat Map, 17 million Americans reside within half a mile of active oil and gas extraction, according to Common Dreams. 4 million kids are included in that figure.
The Yale study also discovered that exposure to chemicals connected to oil and gas that are employed in UOGD techniques of extraction may occur through drinking water.
Researchers utilised a brand-new criteria that assesses proximity to wells and exposure to tainted drinking water. They were successful in locating UOG-affected wells that were situated near watersheds where young people and their families probably got their water.
According to Deziel, prior health studies have linked various children’s health outcomes to living close to oil and gas production. This study is one of the first to concentrate only on drinking water and the first to use a novel metric intended to quantify potential exposure through this pathway.