skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Federal judge blocks AZ law that 'disenfranchised' Native voters; government shutdown could cost U.S. travel economy about $1 Billion per week; WA group brings 'Alternatives to Violence' to secondary students.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Senator Robert Menendez offers explanations on the money found in his home, non-partisan groups urge Congress to avert a government shutdown and a Nevada organization works to build Latino political engagement.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Fracking Linked to Low Birthweight Babies

play audio
Play

Friday, December 29, 2017   

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pregnant women living near fracked gas wells are more likely to have a low birthweight baby - that's the finding in a new study from Princeton University.

The researchers compared standard birthweight records collected by Pennsylvania hospitals with the locations of the parents' homes. Low birth weight has long been considered an important indicator of later health problems.

Princeton economics professor Janet Currie says they found a strong correlation - that the low birth weights were highly localized and much more likely to be found right next to the well sites.

"What is surprising is, we found a fairly large effect for people living very close; but by the time you got to two miles away, we did not detect any effect," she notes.

The industry argues that air pollution from gas wells and equipment such as compressor stations disperses quickly after it's released.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is finalizing tighter regulations for emissions from new oil and gas facilities.

But Patrice Tomcik, with Moms Clean Air Force, notes that the new rules don't cover wells, compressor stations and pipelines already in service.

"We need a solution for reducing the methane pollution from these existing sources that are sickening our families today," she says.

Emissions of methane, the main component of natural gas, also carry other pollutants including volatile organic compounds. Tomcik says about 1.5 million Pennsylvanians live within half a mile of oil and gas facilities.

Beth Weinberger, a public health consultant with the Environmental Health Project, says previous research indicates preterm births and similar issues may be due to volatile organic compounds such as benzene, or small, soot-like particles such as those found in diesel exhaust, pollutants associated with drilling operations.

"We know much of what's in the emissions, and in each of the studies, the researchers have found associations between exposure to gas drilling and birth outcomes," Weinberger says.

The Princeton research suggests keeping drilling away from homes, through zoning or well set-back rules.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Damage seen on Maui after catastrophic, wind-driven fires swept through the area. (Brea Burkholz/Direct Relief)

Social Issues

play sound

A California group formed after the firestorm that leveled the town of Paradise is stepping up to help Maui recover from its own disaster last month…


Social Issues

play sound

Skills for reducing violence are becoming essential in schools. At the beginning of the school year, students at a Washington state high school …

play sound

The age-old theory that opposites attract has been debunked. According to analysis of more than 130 traits in a study that included millions of …


The New York City Mayor has declared a State of Emergency due to the 113,000 migrants who've arrived since spring of 2022. (pressmaster/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new report questions New York City Mayor Eric Adams' latest budget proposal for dealing with the city's influx of over 110,000 migrants. The cost …

Social Issues

play sound

A federal judge has blocked a 2022 Arizona law that voting-rights advocates say would have made it harder for some Native Americans to vote. House …

UAW members are asking for 36% raises in general pay over four years, as well as the return of pension plans for new workers. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Thousands of U.S. auto workers remain on strike, and the walkout is being felt in Minnesota. A rally was scheduled this morning in the Twin Cities …

Environment

play sound

If states like Minnesota are going to meet their climate goals, experts say younger workers will need to step into the roles to make it happen - like …

Health and Wellness

play sound

In rural Arkansas, access to healthcare can be a distant dream - literally - as almost 60 counties in the state do not have enough providers to serve …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021