Gov. Tom Wolf asked to investigate possible link between PA fracking, childhood cancers

"More than 100 organizations and 800 individuals have signed a public letter to Gov. Tom Wolf calling on him to direct the state Department of Health to investigate potential links between shale gas development and a proliferation of childhood cancers. ...

Emily Wurth helped lead the letter writing effort and said the broad-based support for examination of health impacts of shale gas development was prompted by the ongoing Pittsburgh Post-Gazette series “Human toll: Risk and exposure in the gas lands.” (

Stories in the Post-Gazette series document up to 67 cases of childhood and young adult cancers in Washington, Greene, Fayette and Westmoreland counties where shale gas operations are active. The total includes 27 cases of Ewing sarcoma, a rare bone cancer."


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No fracking in NY and we WAY too many childhood cancer stories in my region 

Maybe they should also look at the radon from the coal mines below the homes too or the creeks that are constantly polluted with old mine water after rains and spring runoff............

I did not read the stories and don't intend to as they all follow the same theme: using attention getting, emotional situations to further their unwarranted actions. Sinking to a new low using childhood cancers is not even a surprise. These groups who site all of these ridiculous claims obviously don't even understand the process of fracking and gas extraction or they wouldn't bother. I can agree on investigating unscrupulous companies using unapproved disposal methods of fracking materials (ie: polluting streams and waterways or developing leaky retaining ponds) however the majority of fracking is done following approved safety measures and it would be virtually impossible to connect diseases to the process. If they want to start investigations trying to connect diseases to manufacturing processes, they need to get on the food manufacturers and the lee-ways given - whether of note or behind closed doors - first and foremost. And then get on the construction businesses including roadways and buildings on the materials they freely use and spread into the air. Fracking is thousands of feet below the ground. These attempts to connect it to happenings above ground are ridiculous. It's all a means to push the Green agenda and promote wind and solar energy at any cost.

As Lori has said what is missed is that it the unscrupulous people who have made any problems get them. I can't remember the case but Greene county company dumping waste water into old coal mine shafts. Make those guys the ones to pay.

I few years back local TV station mentioned how a local professor did water test of local waterways in spring and how high the salt water content was and it was a the local Drilling companies fault. But, he did not even bring into the point that the biggest polluter of PA water ways is PennDot!!

The hundreds of tons of salt they use and local road commissions drop on the roads, plus the public during our winter months. All of this runs off into our waterways.

The story above is a money grab on an industry that is monitored more strictly in our country then any other in the world.

Mike Sero, you are absolutely correct.  There will be bad companies who don't follow the rules in EVERY industry however there is an all out war on energy companies by the environmentalist gestapo activists who don't believe in FACTS - just anything that can further their agenda (of which I can't even understand. hat advantage is there to less and more expensive energy for ANYONE?) They are trying to bankrupt the industry that actually has the most potential and done more for the regions than any other - with LESS damage than the many other industries operating in the same regions. As in your PennDot example, it is most likely that accusations against the natural gas industry are in fact caused by other factors but it doesn't matter because they don't care about the truth and will use ANYTHING they can dig up to try to cause problems. People BELIEVE the bull they come up with which garner them more support out of ignorance.

Anyone remember the oil PA spayed on the side of the roads in the mountains years ago.  Seemed like they wanted us all to crash when it rained.  

"fracking"   has been the scapegoat,or the subject of blame for anything from tornados,to earthquakes,to cancer,to other illnesses and weather phenoms too many to mention. No one is complaining about low gas prices?  New York has now made it legal to murder a newborn baby! But Fracking is immoral????

the real question is how many times a day does paul turn on his light switch?

His lights are always on.  Look at his pic, his eyes are permanently squinted. 

There was an editorial calling for better investigation of these health questions:

"For public health: Tom Wolf should order study of fracking and child cancer"

it concluded:

"The natural gas industry has to move beyond platitudes about safety and support efforts to help put the public’s mind at ease. Instead of complaining about “activists” who won’t shut up, Mr. Spigelmyer [of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a gas industry group] should call Mr. Wolf and ask him to get the health study started as soon as possible."


That's a lovely thought but there is a multitude of reliable data out there that completely refutes activist claims that fracking causes everything from cancer to IBS. It doesn't MATTER how much evidence against all of these claims is presented. They will continue to protest and repeat false data to further their cause to shut down the energy industry in favor of their green initiative (which has many of its own negative impacts, including massive cost for less efficiency). The only thing that fracking DOES seem to cause is a derangement syndrome among a certain sector that is highly contagious and passed to otherwise healthy thinking people. There have been high incidents of childhood cancers for many years, attributed to a number of different things. Fracking is the new whipping boy but MANY more likely causes are out there that are more likely to be attributable to many conditions and illnesses on the uprise. Unhealthy diet and food sources/mfg is at the top of the list, as well as every day air pollution caused by a variety of factors; not fracking, which is NOT widespread. I'm not blind. Fracking is part of a huge industry and large corporations have been known to hide harmful effects of their processes and products to protect their bottom line, BUT a little common sense is also called for. This story has exploded on the TV screen. I have heard it on every news show on TV since it broke. Someone did a study of childhood cancers and noticed a higher trend in certain counties that just happen to be within the Marcellus footprint. OK. Check what ELSE is common in those areas, as well as social trends, schools, etc. Don't immediately blame the activist's favorite demon. That is not only irresponsible - it's dangerous, possibly overlooking an ACTUAL cause that isn't politically motivated. Any study ordered, unfortunately, will likely be biased and come to convenient conclusions as so many in the past. Love Canal was responsible for cancer and birth defects. It was built ON TOP OF a radioactive dump. It was evacuated and fenced off. There was OBVIOUS evidence, not a bunch of angry anti energy activists looking for anything to put solar panels and windmills on every residence and building. You cannot use common sense and logic with these groups. And it will never die down.

We have buried multiple children in our community who passed from cancer , not a fracker in sight for hundreds of miles ............


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