Fracking and Migraines

Living in areas where fracking takes place doubles the risk of having migraines, as well as fatigue and sinus symptoms. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a water-based method of extracting natural gas from deep under the ground.

Johns Hopkins researchers described these findings in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The study was conducted using questionnaires which were completed by 7,785 adults. Among these people, 1,765, or 23% suffered from migraines, 1,930 people or 25% experienced severe fatigue and 1,850 or 24% had symptoms of chronic sinusitis (three or more months of nasal and sinus symptoms). In the general population the incidence of migraines is about 12%.

Previous studies have discovered an association between fracking and increased risk of premature births, asthma attacks and indoor radon concentrations.

It is unclear how fracking results in these health problems. Some possible explanations include air pollution, odors, noise, bright lights, and heavy truck traffic.

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