According to a new study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the second leading cause of lung cancer -- a radioactive gas called Radon -- is being pumped into Pennsylvania homes and fracking may be to blame.
To make their claims, the Johns Hopkins researchers obtained radon radioactive gas data on nearly 2 million indoor radon tests conducted in the state between 1987 to 2013. Using some of that data, they associated radon levels with the homes’ respective geologies and water sources, along with the season the measurements were taken, fracking activity in the area, and the weather at the time.
What they found, along with average overall radon increases since 2004, was that buildings using well water had a 21 percent higher concentration of radon than those using municipal water. In addition, buildings located in townships had a 39 percent higher concentration of radon than buildings located in cities. Townships are more likely to house fracking wells than cities, the study noted.
Researchers pointed out that correlation is not necessarily causation, but radon gas increases that begin in 2004 coincided with an increase in the number of fracking permits issued by the state.
As if things weren't already bad enough. Pennsylvania is already the home of flammable water. Now we know that their water may be radioactive as well.
According to the John Hopkins researchers, the waste water produced by fracking contains 500 times more radon than is allowed under federal regulations for drinking water.