When researchers at Johns Hopkins University released a study last July that suggested that fracking causes asthma attacks, EID noted that it was a bit odd that the researchers didn’t include county-by-county comparisons between areas in Pennsylvania with and without shale development – which presumably would have been a slam dunk if their conclusions were sound, right?
Perhaps that’s because those conclusions weren’t sound according to Pennsylvania Department of Health data that show that heavily-drilled counties within the study area have far lower age-adjusted rates of asthma hospitalizations than nine counties in the study area that have no shale gas production at all.
In fact, as Energy In Depth’s latest infographic shows, asthma hospitalization rates in Pennsylvania have fallen across the state as a whole at the same time shale development took off — particularly in areas with heavy Marcellus development.
EID took a closer look at this data beginning in 2003 — prior to any Marcellus drilling at all — and found that in the top producing counties in the state — Susquehanna, Bradford, Lycoming, Greene, Washington and Tioga counties — asthma hospitalizations rates have fallen at the same time Marcellus development has skyrocketed. Whether or not Marcellus development is helping drive down those rates isn’t something EID can speculate on, but one thing is crystal clear: Marcellus Shale development is not negatively impacting asthma hospitalization rates.
See for yourself in EID’s latest infographic: