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Posted by David C. Strouss on Jan 30, 2014 3:28:00 PM

A new study of children born near fracking operations in populated areas of Colorado has found that natural gas development within a 10-mile radius of the residences of pregnant women is positively associated with having a child with a congenital heart defect, and possibly associated with having a child born with a neural tube birth defect.

The study, published by the National Institutes of Health this week, looked back at­ 124,842 births from 1996 to 2009 in rural Colorado.­ A team of statisticians, epidemiologists, and occupational health doctors analyzed information from the Colorado Oil and Gas Information System to map the locations and years of development of the wells, and using that map, compared it with live birth data on mother’s location and the prevalence of birth defects from the official state records. The gas development was analyzed both in terms of the proximity to the mother’s location, and according to the density of development. The map was broken down into tertiles (groups of three) that represented increasing exposure to fracking.Congenital heart defects were found to increase in each tertile of the 10-mile distance from the mother’s home. Neural tube defects were only more prevalent in the final, closest tertile. Accordingly, the findings of this study are of great concern to anyone living near fracking operations. In Colorado alone, the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission estimates that 26% of the oil and gas wells in the state are located only 150 to 1000 feet from residential housing. Not 10 miles away: less than one-fifth of a mile away from the toxic chemicals used and unleashed during the fracking process. This study confirms that the placement of oil and gas wells so near to where people live and work can have devastating consequences.Thornton Law Firm has been a nationwide leader in pursuing birth defect cases for families who have suffered birth injuries due to corporate negligence. Attorney David Strouss has led Thornton Law Firm birth defect practice for over 25 years, representing parents of children born with birth defects from chemical exposure. If you believe you are the victim of a fracking-related birth defect, contact David at 1-888-491-9726 for a free, confidential evaluation of your case.