Researchers have found indications that hydraulic fracturing fluid is killing livestock and causing loss of fertility.
The report published in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy was designed to investigate allegations of health problems in humans and animals near gas wells.
The researchers collected several case studies of cattle exposed to fracking fluid. In one case, cattle on one farm were separated into different pastures, with one herd having access to a stream and the other having no access to the stream. Fracking wastewater was released into the creek, according to local interviewees, and the cattle who drank from the stream had noticeable health problems – one-fourth of the cattle failed to breed and one-third died. The herd that did not drink from the creek had no health problems.
The study is just a preliminary factfinding report. The authors recommend that further studies be performed based on their findings.
Cattle standing in creek via Shutterstock