According to a recent study by the American Medical Association, there is a correlation between hydraulic fracturing activity and increased asthma exacerbation, but specialists said it’s not the complete cause of elevated symptoms.
“The study did not show that hydraulic fracturing in any way causes asthma. It showed that increased fracking activity which encompasses a lot of different activities, was associated with an increased number of asthma exacerbations,” said Dr. David Scott of the Allergy and Asthma Center of Western Colorado.
Doctor Scott said after looking over the full study, researchers are unsure of which parts of the process increases symptoms.
“Things like vehicle exhaust emissions, from bigger trucks driving on roads, to even stress or sleep deprivation,” added Scott.
Dirt roads kicking up particulate matter is also another cause. Scott said the actual pumping of water underground isn’t the culprit, there are other factors.
“A lot of it stems from vehicle exhaust emissions from everyone, not just people fracturing. We have no vehicle exhaust emission standards in this town,” he said.
Air quality does play a large role in the number of patients Dr. Scott sees each year. He recommends residents monitor how much they drive daily and to be cautious of the air.