A recent study from the University of Pittsburg has found that women who lived close to a high number of natural gas fracking sites were 34 percent more likely to have babies who were "small for gestational age" than mothers who did not live close to a large number of such wells.
Pregnant women who live near multiple natural gas wells tend to have smaller infants, research suggests.A recent report in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that women who live close to natural gas fracking wells may be giving birth to babies of lower birth weights. The study from the University of Pittsburgh analyzed the birth records of more than 15,400 babies born in Pennsylvania's Washington, Westmoreland and Butler counties between 2007 and 2010.
High-volume hydraulic fracturing known as "fracking" -- allows access to large amounts of natural gas trapped in shale deposits. The number of these types of wells in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale rose from 44 in 2007 to more than 2,800 in 2010, the researchers said and this may be contributing to the low birth weights..
The findings held true even after the researchers accounted for numerous factors that could affect a newborn's weight, including whether a mother smoked, her race, age, education, prenatal care and whether she'd had previous children, as well as the baby's gender.