Site of Chief fracking well brine spill in Overton Township, Bradford County. Source: Pennsylvania DEP files

Pittsburgh, Pa. – The relationship between hydraulic fracturing and childhood cancer will be the focus of an upcoming study at the University of Pittsburgh.

The Pa. Department of Health awarded the University's Graduate School of Public Health a $2.5 million contract to conduct the research.

"We are pleased to announce that we have chosen a partner to assist us in researching the health effects of hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania," Gov. Tom Wolf said.

The School of Public Health will conduct two observational epidemiological studies to investigate known and suspected health risks of shale gas development.

One, led by Professor of Epidemiology Dr. Evelyn Talbott, will look at the relationship between fracking and childhood cancers in southwestern Pa.

The other, led by Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Research Associate Professor of Biostatistics Dr. Jeanine Buchanich, will replicate earlier studies on acute conditions, such as asthma and birth out comes.

“We are committed to a healthy Pennsylvania for all and efforts that prevent injury and disease in the state. This essential research project is a testament to that,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. 

Both studies are scheduled to be completed within the next two years.

The University will release quarterly summaries for the public to provide updates about the research. 

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