Increased Risk of Cancer, Birth Defects, Asthma Linked to Fracking Projects


Natasha May reports in The Guardian about a new report led by the University of Sydney warning that fast-tracked fracking projects in Australia pose significant health risks, including cancer, birth defects, asthma, cardiovascular disease and more.

In a nutshell

The report was prompted by concerns from pediatricians in the Northern Territory regarding the Beetaloo Basin’s full-scale fracking industry.

The research, drawing on over 300 recent scientific papers, highlights the environmental and health hazards associated with oil and gas operations, emphasizing the need for greater consideration of health impacts by the government.

Key quote

“The research has become so elegant, they can very clearly show that the differences that they see with people’s exposure to the industry didn’t happen until the industry came in. So we know the egg came before the chicken” said Melissa Haswell, lead researcher and professor of environmental wellbeing.

The big picture

Fracking can lead to a range of potential health effects. These include an increased risk of cancer, birth defects, asthma, cardiovascular disease and acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Additionally, communities near fracking sites may experience higher rates of heart failure and hospitalizations for asthma.

These health concerns are linked to exposure to potentially harmful chemicals released during the drilling process and the contamination of air and water in the vicinity of fracking operations.

Pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable, with chemicals accumulating in their bodies and potential long-term health impacts.

Read more in The Guardian.

Environmental Health News’ Kristina Marusic reported recently about Pennsylvanians living near fracking wells who face higher risk for childhood cancer, low birth weights and asthma attacks.