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Environment & Energy

A Study Measuring Air Quality at Fracking Sites Nears Completion

Fracking operation
Evening drilling in Carroll County, which was one of the first fracking boom areas of Ohio.

A three-year study of the possible health effects of fracking on people who live near shale drilling sites is entering its final phase. 

WVU researcher Travis Knuckles
Credit WVU School of Public Health
Travis Knuckles is leading the research into fracking and air quality.

The National Institutes of Health is paying for the research. Travis Knuckles, an assistant professor in the West Virginia University School of Public Health, is conducting it.

He says the overall study involves multiple aspects of fracking, but the current work focuses on air quality issues near wells that could impact cardiovascular health.

“The fracturing event happened about a year and half ago. And we’ve already collected all of the samples.  We’ve already processed those samples and gotten some data. We just submitted a paper on the chemistry side of it.  And now we’re ready to start the health research side.”

The study is expected to be completed next year.