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If you live anywhere near where fracking is occurring, this can put your family’s health in jeopardy. “For a while, all we had were anecdotal reports, which the industry bashed as ‘bad science,'” says Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, a senior health scientist for the NRDC. “But in the past few years, there’s been a torrent of studies finding worrisome air pollution stemming from oil and gas sites. The impacts of this pollution are regional, not just local, meaning it can make you really sick from miles away.” (Solotaroff, 2015)

Health problems related to fracking

The anecdotal evidence points to a variety of symptoms both mild and severe:

  • People passing out from exposure to chemical leaks
  • Mysterious bloody noses, coughs or rashes
  • An increase in headaches

And severe symptoms such as…

  • Workers found dead atop separator tanks from exposure to wastewater fumes
  • Cows birthing stillborn calves on farms
  • An outbreak in childhood cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma in places that had before been free of things like this
  • Nuerological disorders.


Examples of fracking-related health problems

Evidence of these effects is abundant in areas where fracking is occurring. “A huge number of my kids have breathing problems – it averages six or seven in every class,” says Rodd Repsher, a health teacher at Uintah High School, a town where fracking is occurring. Another teacher, who relocated from the Northeast, says “Come January, they’re out sick for a week at a time. I never saw anything like it back home.”

Filmmaker Debra Anderson, who won an Emmy for the documentary she shot about fracking in Garfield County, Colorado, says that “As soon as it aired, we were deluged with calls from communities. Same story, same symptoms, different town.” She adds that “It’s the long-haul exposure that nails you. I watched people get progressively sicker.” (Solotaroff, 2015)

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