Thought you already knew all the health risks associated with fracking? A new study may have you thinking again.
Study results presented at the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society joint meeting 2014 in Chicago indicated the chemicals used in fracking can disrupt the body’s glucocorticoid and thyroid hormone receptors. Both are necessary to maintain good health.
The study’s presenting author, Christopher Kassotis, a PhD student at the University of Missouri said, “Among the chemicals that the fracking industry has reported using most often, all 24 that we have tested block the activity of one of more important hormone receptors.”
“The high levels of hormone disruption by endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that we measured, have been associated with many poor health outcomes, such as infertility, cancer and birth defects.”
Kassotis also said the wastewater produced by fracking could contaminate surface and ground water.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the risks of fracking. Unfortunately, the bad news just keeps on coming.
Prior to announcing the results to this study, the same group had studied the effects of EDCs on much smaller scale. They found that water samples collected from sites with documented fracking spills had moderate to high levels of the EDCs that blocked the effects of male and female hormones. Their research did not show the same activity in areas away from the spill sites.
Their new study is an expansion of that research, analyzing whether or not fracking chemicals changed other hormone receptors beyond estrogen and androgen receptors.
When their research revealed the glucocorticoid receptor and the thyroid hormone receptor were impacted by the chemicals, Kassotis expressed his concern for the health of those exposed to the water.
“We don’t know what the adverse health consequences might be in humans and animals exposed to these chemicals, but infants and children would be most vulnerable because they are smaller, and infants lack the ability to break down these chemicals.”
image credit: CREDO.fracking, from Flickr