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Health and Medicine

1/3 of Ohioans don't know what "fracking" means
36 percent of those who do say it poses a health risk

Simon Husted

A new poll shows a third of Ohioans who know anything about hydraulic fracturing think the chemicals it uses could pose a threat to public health. But an even greater percentage don’t even know what the terms “hydraulic fracturing” – or “fracking” -- mean, according to the 2012 Ohio Health Issues Poll.

Jennifer Chubinski worked on the poll with the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati and says it’s the first time she knows of in which Ohioans have been asked about health concerns associated with the deep-shale oil and gas drilling.

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"And understanding what people think about it, we'll have more rich data and understanding when we ask these same questions over a couple of years and see how people's opinions and thoughts developed as it is not such a novel drilling method in the state," Chubinski says.

Fracking has been focused primarily in the eastern part of Ohio and the poll shows Northeast Ohioans are more informed than people in any other region of the state about it. Still, even here, less than half of those surveyed think they know a lot about it. 

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