Health Impacts of Fracking

One of the main arguments made in favor of regulating and in some cases banning fracking is the health impacts on humans. There have been several studies showing an increase in asthma an impact on birth weight and other health issues related to fracking.

 

 

Dr. David Nolan, a practicing gastroenterologist living in Colorado’s Front Range community of Broomfield, is a member of the Colorado chapter of the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR).  He has been a vocal advocate for increased studies into the health impacts of fracking in light of increasing oil and gas industry presence in Colorado over the past 3 years.

Nolan says that despite a need for more studies into the impacts, there is enough information to show we should proceed with caution when it comes to fracking.

“Looking at health effects, the biggest one that caught my eye initially was the health effects of low birth weight infants… Ultimately they found that people who were living closest to fracking operations were about 25% more likely to have a low birth weight infant.”

A low birth weight can cause other health complications like congenital heart defects, respiratory issues, inability to maintain body temperature, as well as a slew of other problems in a baby’s development.

“One of the other articles that had come out around when I got involved was an article… about the increase risk for leukemia, specifically acute lymphocytic leukemia in the young… They found that there was about a four fold increase risk for leukemia in folks who were living closest to fracking wells.”

55 chemicals released during the fracking process have been identified as directly cancer causing, and of those 55 more than 20 have been shown to increase the risk of leukemia or lymphoma.

Dr. Nolan will speak on the Health Effects of Fracking on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 from 6:30-8:30pm at Longmont Public Library, Community Room, 4th and Kimbark.

Also speaking at the event is Suzanne Cabral, a registered nurse and mother who has been working with neighbors and other parents to protect her community from fracking in Thornton.

After the talk, there will be a discussion on the effects of gas and oil fracking on health in and around Boulder and Longmont.  This presentation is organized by the Longmont Public Forum and is a follow up to their November 28th event on Air Quality in Longmont.