Oil and Gas Development Linked to Childhood Leukemia

oil and gas well

Childhood leukemia has been linked with nearby oil and gas wells.

Everybody is aware of the fact that the development of oil and gas is bad for the environment, but a new study has linked the industry with the increased rates of childhood leukemia in communities nearby the development zones.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado, Anschutz. The scientists revealed that kids who suffer from acute lymphocytic leukemia are more likely to live near an oil and gas development zone. No link has been found between these industrial areas and kids suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

According to Dr. Lisa McKenzie, an assistant research professor at the Colorado School of Public Health, more than 378,000 Colorado residents and several million American currently live at least within a mile of one or more oil and gas development zones.  It’s worth noting that at this point in their research, scientist only found an association between the two factors and not a direct cause of the childhood leukemia.

In this regard, further research is required in order to address the various limitations of the current study as well as better explain its results. The study was funded by the University of Colorado’s Cancer Center, and it was published in PLOS ONE journal.

The study reveals that children as well as young adults, with ages from 5 to 24 years, who suffered from acute lymphocytic leukemia were 4.3 more likely to reside in some of the densest oil and gas development zones in the state, compared to individuals with other forms of cancer. The study mostly focused on the rural areas and towns of Colorado, from 57 different counties in the state. Any urban areas with a population exceeding 50,000 people were excluded from the study.

The latest report reveals that more than 15 million Americans across the country live within a mile of gas and oil well. In Colorado’s most intensive development zones, there are hundreds of wells within just a mile of a home. Furthermore, besides the risk of developing leukemia, residents also risk other health effects from being exposed to industrial development.

The researchers used data from both the Colorado Oil and Gas Information System and the Colorado Central Cancer Registry.

Image sourceWikipedia

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