Toxic Exposure: Birth Defects and Fracking
December 15, 2014 | Finz & Finz, P.C.
Businesses always assume new technology comes without side effects. No one paid much attention to radiation until Marie Curie suffered terribly from its effects. Companies ignored the dangers of lead in computer monitors until landfills and water supplies were poisoned. As far as the companies who created them were concerned, pesticides and fertilizers couldn’t possibly have negative effects.
The newest technology to have unintended consequences is fracking. Fracking is a process by which natural gas is extracted from shale rock by producing cracks in the ground through which the underlying gas can be obtained. Fracking has been presented as a wonderful breakthrough in energy independence, but no one bothered to research whether it was safe until it had become commonplace all over America.
Concerned citizens have long wondered about the damage to air and water quality from this process, but new research shows the dangers run much deeper than just our lungs. The consequences of fracking can cause serious damage to people, including the most vulnerable among us: our unborn children.
Researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health have released a study showing a variety of potential issues, including:
- Children born near fracking sites in Colorado having higher incidence of congenital heart defects
- Children born near fracking sites in Pennsylvania having a higher preponderance of low birth weight
- Higher occurrence of stillbirth in areas of Utah near fracking sites
Birth defects have been proven to be caused by a variety of medications and environmental toxins through the years, so it is no surprise that fracking would have its most dramatic negative effects on children still in the womb. During the earliest stages of development, even small levels of exposure to toxins can have a huge effect.
Most of the women whose children suffered because of fracking likely assumed it was just bad luck and tried to move on. Knowing what we do now, it is important that we encourage parents whose children are born with birth defects to explore possible causes other than random chance. If your child was born with a birth defect, or if your child was stillborn, and if you have reason to believe this was caused by exposure to medications or toxins, please contact a lawyer to help you get the answers you deserve and to help other mothers and children avoid suffering the same fate.
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