Energy & Environment

Green group finds health threats from fracking’s air pollution

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said Tuesday that air pollution from hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas can cause at least five major types of health problems.

After what it called a comprehensive analysis of scientific literature, the NRDC concluded that air pollution from fracking is linked to birth defects, respiratory illnesses, cancer, nervous system disorders and blood defects.

{mosads}The health problems come in addition to what greens say are the better-documented harms to drinking water that come from fracking.

The NRDC accused the oil and gas industry of trying to hide the problems. Federal and state regulators, meanwhile, have done little to stop the harmful pollution, it said.

“The health risks from fracking are not limited to what’s in our drinking water — oil and gas operations are also poisoning the air we breathe,” NRDC senior scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman said in a statement.

“While industry continues to try to sweep the impacts of fracking under a rug, the science keeps revealing serious health threats — for workers, families living nearby and entire regions with heavy oil and gas activity.”

The group singled out those five health issues as the ones with the most evidence. But it said it also found support for harm to heart, kidney, endocrine, immune, reproductive, gastrointestinal and auditory problems stemming from fracking.

Tags fracking Natural gas Natural Resources Defense Council oil

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