Living in areas near hydraulic fracturing increases Chances to be hospitalized

Living in areas near hydraulic fracturing increases Chances to be hospitalized

Debate on effects of fracking on health has been going on for so many years. A new research has something important to add to it. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University have found that people who live near unconventional gas and oil drilling, referred as fracking, were having more chances of getting hospitalized for heart conditions, neurological illness and other illnesses.

The research was carried out with an aim to know the risk of air and water pollution from well drilling to nearby residents. For which, the researchers studied the link between drilling well density and healthcare use by zip code from
2007 and 2011.

The data of three northeastern Pennsylvania counties were studied having more than 198,000 hospitalizations. The researchers studied the top 25 medical categories for hospitalizations and then tried to know if there is any link with patients' proximity to active well oil and gas wells.

The researchers compared the data for two counties, Bradford and Susquehanna, where drilling activities have increased, with the control, Wayne county, where drilling was banned.

It was found that cardiology and neurological related prevalence was more in regions closer to active wells. Other conditions, including cancer, skin conditions and urological problems were also found to be more among people living near active wells.

"At this point, we suspect that residents are exposed to many toxicants, noise and social stressors due to hydraulic fracturing near their homes and this may add to the increased number of hospitalizations", said one of the study researchers, Reynold Panettieri.