Although fracking already attracts controversy as an allegedly bio-hazardous industry, a new study takes it up a notch by showing that the practice can badly impact the health of unborn children.

Image: wikipedia

Babies still in their mothers’ wombs living within a 10-mile range of fracking wells are in much greater danger of congenital heart defects (CHD) and neural tube defects (NTD). This was surmised in a recent study correlating birth data with geographical locations of gas wells and congenital conditions.

The study, called “Birth Outcomes and Maternal Residential Proximity to Natural Gas Development in Rural Colorado”comes from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH) and Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), and explores three variations of birth defects, fetal growth and pre-term birth.

Some of the resulting conditions include endocardial cushion defect, pulmonary valve atresia and stenosis. It also turns out that if a pregnant mother lives within a 10-mile radius, the chances of the baby inheriting CHDs go up by 30 percent.

The Colorado study elicited data from sampling nearly 125,000 births in the period between 1996 and 2009.

“Fracking causes babies to be deformed – the more we learn about fracking, the worse it gets,” Gary Wockner, the director of the Clean Water Action program in Colorado, told environmental business portal Ecowatch.com while commenting on the research.

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