Health Effects on Children

Fracking can have negative effects on the health of children. A recent study conducted in southwestern Pennsylvania by scientists at the University of Pittsburgh found a link between proximity to fracking wells and incidence of babies born small for their gestational age. Another study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania in Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland County in Pennsylvania found that mothers who lived closest to fracking wells were 34% more likely to give birth to babies who were small for their gestational age. Later in life, there is a link between size for gestational age and other health issues. (Sapatkin 2015)

Women living in closer proximity to fracking wells are more likely to have premature babies and high-risk pregnancies. Women living near a large number of fracking wells were 40% more likely to give birth to premature babies than those living near low levels. And factors like high blood pressure or excessive weight gain, due from stress associated with proximity to fracking sites, made them 30% more likely to be classified as high-risk pregnancies. Researchers claim that both air pollution and stress from gas development are both valid, potential explanations but they still lack evidence to prove that. (Hurdle 2015)