Newly released scientific information confirms what many Northeast Pennsylvania residents have known for years -- hazardous conditions from shale gas wells are making them sick. Growing numbers of area residents have been admitted into the hospitals in that region, which is fraught with "fracking" operations, in the past decade. Government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania health councils agree that the counties in which shale gas operations exist are far more likely to have higher hospital admission rates because of dangerous conditions.
Among the most surprising correlations is the increase in the incidence of cardiovascular admissions near the gas drilling sites. Over a 10-year period, victims in the Northeast Pennsylvania area have suffered nearly a 30-percent increase in the number of admissions for cardiovascular issues such as stroke or asthma. Many advocates blame hazardous conditions associated with air pollution for those increased hospital visits. The air pollution is also targeted for the increase in skin conditions and neurological problems in the vicinity of the gas wells.