Posted by Tyler Durden
Fracking has been one of the keys to helping the US achieve energy independence and become the world's largest oil and gas producer for the past decade. But now it looks like it could have some unintended consequences, according to Reuters.
Researchers have found elevated levels of radiation near hydraulic fracking wells in the United StatesAccording to a study recently published by Harvard researchers this week. The study looked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's statewide radiation monitoring levels from 2011 to 2017.
The study, published in Nature, found that areas within 12 miles of the wind from 100 fracking wells had radiation levels that were about 7% above normal background levels. Readings can be "much higher" as you get closer to the drill sites, the study reported. Radioactive particles can be inhaled and "increase the risk of lung cancer," according to Reuters.
Petros Koutrakis, who led the study, said, "The bumps are not extremely dangerous, but they could increase certain health risks for those living nearby."
He also said more studies are needed: "We hope that once we understand the source more clearly, there will be technical methods to control this."
He attributes the radiation to "naturally occurring radioactive material" which rises to the surface as a result of the drilling.
The study also found that the largest increases occurred in places like Pennsylvania and Ohio, where naturally occurring radioactive material is found in higher concentrations than in other states.
It's unclear if this could turn into an election talk in less than three weeks before the president's race. We already know where President Trump stands on fracking. If only Joe Biden and Kamala Harris could remember what exactly their position is …
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