A new study by the Yale School of Public Health has confirmed that chemicals released by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, can be linked to cancer.
The study also confirms the practice of fracking can contaminate both air and water in nearby communities.
“Because children are a particularly vulnerable population, research efforts should first be directed toward investigating whether exposure to hydraulic fracturing is associated with an increased risk,” said lead author Nicole Deziel, Ph.D. Considering there are 650,000 K-12 children that attend school within one mile of a fracked well in the United States, as well as 15 million Americans in general,, this is extremely alarming.
The team involved in the study examined a list of more than 1,000 chemicals that may be released into water or air as a result of fracking. Considering “previous studies have examined the carcinogenicity of more selective lists of chemicals” the analysis is being called the “most expansive review of carcinogenicity of hydraulic fracturing-related chemicals in the published literature.”
More than 80 percent of the chemicals studied lacked sufficient data on cancer-causing potential. The researchers said this highlights “an important knowledge gap.”
Of of the chemicals that did have sufficient data, 44 percent of the water pollutants and 60 percent of air pollutants were either confirmed or possible carcinogens. 20 chemicals had evidence of increased risk for leukemia or lymphoma.
Fracking is currently present in 30 of the 50 United States.
Researchers that worked on the study are now taking air and water samples in a community near a fracking operation to determine the extent of the presence of carcinogens.