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October 20, 2016
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Fracking for Natural Gas Linked to Surges in Asthma

By Kristen Schepker, Assistant Editor

Living in close proximity to natural gas fracking worsens asthma symptoms, according to a new study published by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Fracking Susque RiverThe Hopkins study, which is the first-ever evaluation of the impact of fracking on  objective respiratory measures, showed that living near fracking sites is associated with significantly increased likelihood of mild, moderate, and severe asthma exacerbations. The data were obtained from analysis of health records of more than 35,000 people living in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region--the epicenter of US natural gas fracking activity.

Asthma patients who lived in closest proximity to active gas production sites had a four-fold increased risk of severe exacerbations requiring hospitalization compared with asthmatic people living farthest from the fracking operations.

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