The anxiety and fear families go through when they get a CHD diagnosis is indescribable, and it never ends. Babies born with heart defects must be monitored throughout their entire lives.
The cause of CHD can be genetic, the mother’s diet and/or health during pregnancy, and environmental exposures.3 Most families don’t know the actual cause of their baby’s CHD; however, new research finds living near an oil or gas site increases the odds.
In fact according to an article published in Common Dreams,
Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are 40 to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects 4
A study conducted in Colorado, where there are 60,000 fracking sites, found that living with one mile of an active gas or oil site increased the rates of CHD.
The fetus’ heart is formed during the second month of pregnancy. This is the first study to specifically focus on the chemicals released from gas and oil sites and the stage of pregnancy.
Published in the July 18, 2019 edition of Environment International, the Colorado study found:
- Higher pulmonary artery and valve defect prevalence in oil and gas activity area•
- Congenital heart defect prevalence highest in rural areas with oil and gas activity•
- Higher aortic artery and valve defect prevalence in rural oil and gas activity area•
- Higher conotruncal defect prevalence in rural oil and gas activity area•
- Higher tricuspid valve defect prevalence in rural oil and gas activity area 5
The study involved 3324 infants born between 2005 and 2011 in Colorado and found a “positive association between maternal proximity to O&G well site activities and several types of CHDs…At least 17 million people in the U.S and 6% of Colorado’s population live within 1 mile of an active O&G well site.” 6
Concerns surrounding fracking include many environmental concerns including carcinogenic chemicals and excessive water usage. 7 This new study is further proof that these concerns are warranted and one more reason we need to move towards a green energy solution.
As the mother of a child with CHD, not a day goes by that I am not concerned about his health.