Abrahm Lustgarten was a guest on Fresh Air today to talk about how natural gas drilling affects human health. In a recent story, Lustgarten and Nicholas Kusnetz reported that while there have been numerous examples of people who live near fracking sites getting ill, neither states or the federal government has comprehensively investigated whether the drilling process is harmful to humans.
Lustgarten told Fresh Air guest host Dave Davies, “I hear [stories] thousands of miles apart, in various states, and to me – to an untrained medical professional – they sound alarmingly similar. But when we go to federal or state health officials, or drilling officials, or any officials, and ask ‘how common these are’….nobody really knows. Nobody has systemically tracked how many health complaints there are, whether the complaints are similar, whether they can be tied to any specific chemical exposure or any environmental cause. It makes it very difficult beyond an anecdotal answer to get a handle on how widespread a problem this might be.”