Author: Daniel J. Harrison, Esq.
On January 27, 2022, Harvard University researchers published the first study linking air pollution from fracking wells to premature death.
Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health reviewed the locations of more than 15 million Medicare beneficiaries living in major U.S. unconventional oil and gas drilling (“UOGD”) exploration regions from 2001 to 2015. They also gathered data from the records of more than 2.5 million oil and gas wells across the country.
For each Medicare beneficiary’s home zip code and year, Harvard used two different statistical approaches to calculate what the exposure to fracking-related pollutants would be from living either close to drilling operations, downwind of them, or both, while considering various socioeconomic, environmental, and demographic factors.
The study, which was published in Nature Energvy, ultimately concluded that elderly people living near or downwind of UOGD sites are at higher risk of early death compared with elderly individuals who don’t live near such operations. While other studies already linked injuries and property damage to nearby fracking operations, this study reveals yet another severe health consequence of fracking that specifically hurts our elderly neighbors.
For more information about Harvard’s study, click here.