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Fracking linked to low birth weight in Pennsylvania babies

Study of birth records finds association between infant health and mom’s proximity to production sites

By
5:55pm, December 13, 2017
Fracking well

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE Babies born to moms living within one kilometer of fracking sites are more likely to be underweight than those born to moms living three kilometers or farther away, a new study suggests.

Living near a fracking site appears to be detrimental to infant health, a study eyeing the gas production practice in Pennsylvania suggests.

Babies of moms living within one kilometer of a hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, site in the state had a 25 percent greater chance of being born underweight than did babies whose moms lived at least three kilometers away, researchers report online December 13 in Science Advances. The chance of having a low-birth-weight baby was 1 in 14 for the moms living closest to a fracking site, but 1 in 17 for moms three to 15 kilometers away, says Janet Currie, an economist at Princeton University.

For babies born to moms living within one to three kilometers away from a site, the chance of being underweight at birth was about 8 percent greater than for babies of the more distant moms, Currie says. The study found no ill effect on infants born to moms residing

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