Pennsylvania children who grew up near oil and gas fracking sites are at higher risk for leukemia, a study published Wednesday in Environmental Health Perspectives finds. The study’s findings are consistent with a plethora of research on health risks associated with fracking. Yale researchers using Pennsylvania cancer registry data, found children between the ages of 2–7 years-old who lived near (within 2km, or 1.25 miles of) a fracking site were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Children born to pregnant people who lived near fracking sites are at triple the risk.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia, though it has a relatively high survival rate, frequently leads to additional problems later in life, including cognitive disabilities and heart disease. Two kilometers is just over 6,500 feet, but Pennsylvania law only requires a 500-foot setback between fracking wells and homes. Colorado only requires 150 feet. (The Guardian, Inside Climate News, NPR State Impact, DeSmog, The Independent, The Hill)