You may have heard about water pollution from fracking (the production of natural gas from hydraulic fracturing), but air pollution is also on the rise from this process.
"So much is being said in news about how this is the new clean fuel," she said. "It's not."Source: Huffington Post
Natural gas production is rapidly increasing across the country -- from Pennsylvania to Colorado. According to many public health experts, the natural and manmade chemicals released during drilling, hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) and reinjection steps are making more and more people sick. Adding to the concern are new findings showing the associated air pollution, and the dangers of exposure to very small doses of certain chemicals. Developing fetuses and young children can be the most vulnerable to these effects.
"For children, the potential cancer risk is a serious consideration. They are more sensitive, exposed at younger ages and for longer periods of time," said Lisa McKenzie, lead researcher on the study at the Colorado School of Public Health.
McKenzie said the results also pointed to potentially significant respiratory and neurological effects. For children, this could mean more headaches, sore throats and asthma. "Children are more sensitive to all of these pollutants, whether traditional ozone, dust or particulates caused by hydrocarbons leaking out of the wells or the diesel trucks carrying the materials," added Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, whose goal is to protect public health and the environment.