It seems earthquakes caused by fracking might not be the only downside to the controversial practice.
A new study conducted by researchers from the University of Missouri and published in Environmental Health Perspectives, says chemicals used is fracking may cause harm to the endocrine and reproductive system of humans.
The endocrine system is a network of glands that secrete hormones to regulate bodily functions such as metabolism and growth.
“While these technologies have dramatically increased domestic oil and natural gas production they have also raised concerns for the potential contamination of local water supplies with the approximately 1,000 chemicals used throughout the process, including many known or suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals,” said researchers Christopher D. Kassotis, Donald E. Tillitt, Chung-Ho Lin, Jane A. McElroy, and Susan C. Nagel.
The study says the most common way for humans to be affected by the endocrine-disrupting chemicals is through contamination of of surface and ground water. It notes that spills were reported at one per cent of Colorado wells in 2013, and at two per cent of Pennsylvania wells the following year.
Earlier this week, the Alberta Energy Regulator said there was strong evidence that a earthquake about 260 kilometres north of Edmonton was caused by fracking. The earthquake, which took place on on January 22, measured 4.4 on the Richter Scale.