DEBUNK: Six Flaws In A New Report Trying To Link Fracking To Infant Health Issues


Title: Six Flaws In A New Report Trying To Link Fracking To Infant Health Issues

Author: Seth Whitehead

Publisher: Energy In Depth

Date: December 13, 2017

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  • Energy In Depth fact-checked a misleading report attempting to link fracking to negative health impacts on infants. The study, “authored by researchers from Princeton University, the University of Chicago and the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), claimed to show ‘evidence’ that fracking has caused greater incidences of low birth weights in babies born to mothers living near Pennsylvania shale production sites” – however, it contained significant methodological flaws:1. Study finds higher risk of low birth weight for mothers who reside 2-3 km away than 1-2 km — contradicting the report’s topline conclusion2. Authors link health problems to pollution, but admit they did not actually measure pollution3. Researchers admit sampled population would be expected to have similar health impacts even without nearby fracking4. Infant mortality rates in most heavily drilled Pa. counties declining faster than the rest of the state5. Researchers acknowledge small sample size6. Report lauds fracking’s benefits, which authors have also previously touted

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