Drinking water, fracking, and infant health

Elaine L. Hill, Lala Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study assesses the health risks associated with drinking water contamination using variation in the timing and location of shale gas development (SGD). Our novel dataset, linking health and drinking water outcomes to shale gas activity through water sources, enables us to provide new estimates of the causal effects of water pollution on health and to isolate drinking water as a specific mechanism of exposure for SGD. We find consistent and robust evidence that drilling shale gas wells negatively impacts both drinking water quality and infant health. These results indicate large social costs of water pollution and provide impetus for re-visiting the regulation of public drinking water.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102595
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Volume82
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
These data were supplied by the Bureau of Health Statistics & Research, Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania DOH specifically disclaims responsibility for any interpretations or conclusions. Thank you to Amy Farrell and James Rubertone of Pennsylvania Department of Health for facilitating access to the data. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers, Michael Anderson, Janet Currie, Prashant Bharadwaj, Lucija Muehlenbachs, Sheila Olmstead, Chris Timmins, as well as seminar participants at ASSA Annual meeting, AERE Summer Conference, IHEA conference, NBER EEE Summer Institute, VEAM-fest, Georgia State University, Iowa State University, Northern Illinois University, Ohio University, Penn State University, University of Binghamton, University of Chicago, University of Kentucky, University of Rochester, University of West Virginia, Harvard, EPA, and National Cancer Institute for useful comments. We thank Richard DiSalvo and Andrew Boslett for excellent research support. We thank Chris Timmins for graciously providing us with Risk Screening Environmental Indicators air quality data. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the UR Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC; P30ES001247), and the NIH (DP5OD021338; PI Hill). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health.

Funding Information:
These data were supplied by the Bureau of Health Statistics & Research, Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania DOH specifically disclaims responsibility for any interpretations or conclusions. Thank you to Amy Farrell and James Rubertone of Pennsylvania Department of Health for facilitating access to the data. We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers, Michael Anderson, Janet Currie, Prashant Bharadwaj, Lucija Muehlenbachs, Sheila Olmstead, Chris Timmins, as well as seminar participants at ASSA Annual meeting, AERE Summer Conference, IHEA conference, NBER EEE Summer Institute, VEAM-fest, Georgia State University, Iowa State University, Northern Illinois University, Ohio University, Penn State University, University of Binghamton, University of Chicago, University of Kentucky, University of Rochester, University of West Virginia, Harvard, EPA, and National Cancer Institute for useful comments. We thank Richard DiSalvo and Andrew Boslett for excellent research support. We thank Chris Timmins for graciously providing us with Risk Screening Environmental Indicators air quality data. We gratefully acknowledge funding from the UR Environmental Health Sciences Center (EHSC; P30ES001247), and the NIH (DP5OD021338; PI Hill). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Community water systems
  • Drinking water
  • Fracking
  • Ground water
  • Infant health
  • Shale gas development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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