Infants born to mothers who live very close to natural gas fracking sites have a higher risk of low birth weight, according to a new peer-reviewed study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.
The study is the largest of its kind, and was conducted by researchers from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and Princeton University. It builds on previous research that also found health impacts to infants born near gas wells in Pennsylvania.
The report, “Hydraulic Fracturing and Infant Health: New Evidence from Pennsylvania” used data from 1.1 million births in all Pennsylvania counties during a ten year period between 2004 and 2013. The time frame begins before fracking for natural gas took off in the state, and includes the height of the gas boom.
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