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Fracking and Premature Babies

by Elizabeth Alford on October 22, 2015

The fracking debate continues to heat up with new evidence that the drilling practice leads to premature birth, according to a new study.

Related: Federal Fracking Rules Halted 

Researchers from John Hopkins conducted a study on the possible adverse health outcomes to expectant mothers that might be associated with fracking.

The scientists analyzed on health record data from over 9,000 mothers in Pennsylvania who gave birth to premature babies over a three year period and measure the the mothers’ exposure to unconventional natural gas activity during pregnancy.

The results of the study, published last month in the online journal, Epidemiology, found that expectant mothers who lived in the most active areas of fracking drilling and production were 40 percent more likely to give birth prematurely. These women were also 30 percent more likely to have a high risk pregnancy that can include high blood pressure or excessive weight gain, the researchers said.

Earlier this month, the Obama Administration suffered a setback in its fight to add stricter regulations to the oil and gas industry for fracking activities. U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl issued a preliminary injunction that halted federal efforts to add tighter regulations for fracking on public lands after several states and industry leaders banded together to challenge new federal ruling.


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