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Study Measuring Air Quality At Fracking Sites Nears Completion

Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa., in Bradford County.
Ralph Wilson
/
AP
Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa., in Bradford County.

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

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," Knuckles said. "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.