New PA Study Reports Genital and Urinary Tract Impacts of Fracking

According to a report carried in the March issue of Public Health as reported on the truthout.org website, a recent study has indicated that Pennsylvanians in shale fracking regions are at greater risk for skin, genital, and urinary diseases. (https://truthout.org/articles/fracking-linked-to-increased-hospitalizations-for-genital-and-urinary-issues/)

As Truth Out reports, “Researchers found that the more fracking wells were in a county, the more hospitalizations the county saw for genital and urinary problems like urinary tract infections, kidney infections, and kidney stones.” 

This would not include all cases of such impacts, since only the most acute cases involve hospitalization.  It is likely that many more cases exist bit with milder symptoms.

The study concluded that there is a clearer link between genital and urinary issues and fracking as compared to skin-related issues.

The study also reported that as exposures to fracking in counties continued over time, there were increasing rates of hospitalizations for kidney infections, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections.  The effect seems to impact adult women more than children and the elderly.

Other studies have linked fracking to increased cardiovascular problems and respiratory problems like asthma.

Elaine Hill, assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester and co-author of the study, said that more research is needed.  She added, “it’s important for people who live in these communities to make themselves aware and make their physicians aware that they live near drilling operations so the healthcare system can respond if there is widespread risk.”