Study: Fracking linked to rare birth defect in horses

Environmental Health News discusses a study showing that fracking is linked to a rare birth defect in horses.

A new study has uncovered a link between fracking chemicals in farm water and a rare birth defect in horses—which researchers say could serve as a warning about fracking and human infant health.

The study, published this month in the journal Science of the Total Environment, complements a growing body of research linking fracking to numerous human health effects, including preterm births and high-risk pregnancies. This is believed to be the first study to find fracking chemicals in farm water linked to birth defects in farm animals.

In 2014, veterinarians at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals in Ithaca, New York, realized that they’d diagnosed five out of 10 foals born on one farm in Pennsylvania with the same rare birth defect. The birth defect, dysphagia, involves difficulty swallowing caused by abnormalities in the throat. Dysphagia causes nursing foals to inhale milk instead of swallowing it, which often results in pneumonia if milk gets into their lungs.

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