Study finds association between O&G development and childhood leukemia
"More research needed to learn why there are more childhood leukemia diagnoses in people living in areas of high-density oil and gas development.
Young Coloradans diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia are more likely to live in areas of high-density oil and gas development compared to young Coloradans diagnosed with other types of cancer, according to researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz. The researchers observed no association between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and high-density oil and gas development.
“Over 378,000 Coloradans and millions of Americans currently live within a mile of at least one oil and gas well, and petroleum development continues to expand into residential areas,” said lead investigator Dr. Lisa McKenzie, assistant research professor at the Colorado School of Public Health. “The findings from our registry-based case control study indicate that young Coloradans diagnosed with one type of childhood leukemia are more likely to live in the densest areas of oil and gas sites. More comprehensive research that can address our study’s limitations is needed to understand and explain these results.”
The research paper, "Childhood hematologic cancer and residential proximity to oil and gas development" by McKenzie and others, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28199334 says "Future studies should incorporate information on oil and gas development activities and production levels, as well as levels of specific pollutants of interest (e.g. benzene) near homes, schools, and day care centers; provide age-specific residential histories; compare cases to controls without cancer; and address other potential confounders, and environmental stressors."