Study Links Proximity to Natural Gas Development And Birth Defects

Apr 22, 2014

A well pad and produced water near homes in Garfield County.
A well pad and produced water near homes in Garfield County.
Credit Ecoflight

A new study from the Colorado School of Public Health links natural gas development with certain birth defects. The report, Natural Gas Development and Birth Outcomes, found congenital heart defects were 30 percent more likely in infants born to mothers living close to natural gas development. These defects happen before birth, when the blood vessels near the heart don’t develop normally. Lisa McKenzie is a Research Associate at the University of Colorado’s School of Public Health. She led the study and told Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen it’s focus is on mothers living in rural Colorado.

The analysis, Natural Gas Development and Birth Outcomes, will be published this month, in Environmental Health Perspectives, a publication of the U-S Federal government.