Appalachian Basin

Does Fracking Cause Obesity? Fat Chance, Despite Activist Researchers’ Claims

The latest study from activist research team Susan Nagel (Univ. of Missouri) and Chris Kassotis (Duke Univ.) attempts to connect fracking to obesity in people living in close proximity to shale development.

The team – who has previously attempted to link shale development to impaired immune systems, low sperm counts, ovarian follicle problems and pre-cancerous mammary gland lesions – takes things to a whole new level of absurdity with its latest joint, purporting that,

“Exposure to fracking chemicals and wastewater promotes fat cell development, or adipogenesis, in living cells in a laboratory.”

In other words, fracking fluids – more specifically, a 23-chemical concoction created by the team and samples of produced water taken from well sites in West Virginia and Colorado – could cause obesity in mice. But as the News & Observer recently reported,

“The study does not assert that water in fracking zones is contaminated, as some other Duke research has concluded. Kassotis emphasized that the study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Science of the Total Environment, does not prove that fracking causes obesity in people, only that it stimulates the growth of the fat cells of mice in a laboratory.” (emphasis added)

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