Fracking hurts babies

Friday, August 10, 2018 5:1PM
To the editor:

Underweight babies born with lifelong health issues. Water poisoned with toxic waste chemicals. It sounds like I’m talking about Flint, Michigan. But I’m not. I’m talking about how the development of natural gas in New Hampshire impacts our neighbors in Pennsylvania, where the gas originates. A recent study by members of Princeton University examined the birth certificates of over 1 million infants born in close proximity to fracking sites in Pennsylvania. The study found that those born within a mile of the fracking sites were hundreds of times more likely to suffer from reduced birth weights, often under five pounds, than those living even one mile distant. According to medical professionals, infants with reduced birthweights have higher rates of physical defects and suffer poorer health over the course of their lifetimes. No, this is not Flint, Mich. This is another example of a utility company, our own Liberty Utilities, making investments that are devastating to families and children. Making investments for the sake of profits. Near the beginning of this letter I referred to the people of Pennsylvania as ‘our neighbors.’ While Pennsylvania is not next door or across the street, is it so distant that we should not care for their children? Really, aren’t we all neighbors?

Chris Balch