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Study Finds Potential Health Issues Tied To Wastewater Disposal Site

Jessica Lilly
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A report published this week says an oil and gas wastewater disposal site in West Virginia is leaking chemicals that can harm fertility in animals.

The study, “Endocrine Disrupting Activities of Surface Water Associated with a West Virginia Oil and Gas Industry Wastewater Disposal Site” was published online in the peer-reviewed journal Science of the Total Environment. It looked at water samples collected from a site near Fayetteville. The report indicates that water downstream from the injection well site had significantly more endocrine disrupting activity than water upstream.

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with hormone systems in mammals, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The report shows these disruptors were found above levels known to result in adverse health effects.

Industry groups criticize the report saying it amounts to scientific fear-mongering. They say the levels of chemicals found would have to be much higher concentrations to be considered dangerous to humans.

Fayette County recently banned wastewater injection wells in response to years of contention surrounding this particular site.

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