scharrison's blog Comments More on health issues associated with fracking: A new study published in the journal Endocrinology found that water samples collected at fracking sites in Colorado showed elevated levels of dangerous chemicals linked to birth defects, infertility and cancer. The elevated levels were also found in the Colorado River, possibly due to runoff from spills. “With fracking on the rise, populations may face greater health risks from increased endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure,” senior author Susan Nagel, who investigates the health effects of estrogen at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, told the Los Angeles Times. And snatched from the comment section: Studies in 2012 (pre and post fracking) at Cornell University demonstrated a 25% increased prevalence of Low Birth Weight, a 17% increased prevalence of Small for Gestational Age and reduced five minute Apgars in infants born within 7.1 square miles (1.5 mile radius) of a fracking gas production site. Kids born with these abnormal parameters are at increased health risk and their parents are at risk for increased health costs. See this article. "Cost of hospitalization for preterm and low birth weight infants in the United States. Russell RB, Green NS, Steiner CA, Meikle S, Howse JL, Poschman K, Dias T, Potetz L, Davidoff MJ, Damus K, Petrini JR.Source March of Dimes, 1275 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, NY 10605, USA. 2007 "CONCLUSIONS: Costs per infant hospitalization were highest for extremely preterm infants, although the larger number of moderately preterm/low birth weight infants contributed more to the overall costs. Preterm/low birth weight infants in the United States account for half of infant hospitalization costs and one quarter of pediatric costs." These kids were in the hospital for multiple health reasons, including developmental, neurological, respiratory, etc. In addition, 2012 studies at the University of Colorado School of Public Health demonstrated an increased risk of cancer within a 0.5 mile radius of fracking gas production sites. We all know the increased health risks and costs associated with cancer. Based on figures from these studies . . . only 39 gas fracking wells evenly "spaced out" over Lee County would make the entire county a high risk zone for pregnancy outcome and put much of the county at increased risk for cancer. Compound that fact with the consideration that, in the Marcellus Shale, drillers can place four or more wells per square mile. There are 255 square miles of land in Lee County. I don't know how many wells drillers intend to frack but at four wells per square mile that could mean over a 1,000 fracking wells in Lee County alone. A lot of those wells are going to be within 7.1 square miles of homes. Who is going to be responsible for warning women of child bearing age of the risks to their pregnancy (due to proximity to a fracking gas production site)? Should these women all move or just accept the risks? What about poor citizens who can't afford to move? Would you want your wife, daughter or granddaughter living within 7.1 square miles of a fracking gas production site if they were of childbearing age? Sincerely, William J. Blackley, MD Fellow American Academy of Family Practice Of course they won't be warned by the state or the mining companies, because that would be admitting there's a problem.