Chemicals released during “fracking” could harm fertility

A new study out of the University of Missouri-Columbia indicates that the oil extraction method known as “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing) could have detrimental effects on human fertility.

While fracking is often studied as a potential threat to air and water quality, the researchers conducted a literature review that also analyzed the impact of chemicals released on human health. The reviewers concluded that exposure to air and water pollution caused by UOG operations may be linked to health concerns including infertility, miscarriage, impaired fetal growth, birth defects and reduced semen quality.

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Ellen Webb, Sheila Bushkin-Bedient, Amanda Cheng, Christopher D. Kassotis, Victoria Balise, Susan C. Nagel. Developmental and reproductive effects of chemicals associated with unconventional oil and natural gas operations. Reviews on Environmental Health, 2014; 29 (4) DOI: 10.1515/reveh-2014-0057