"These results are of concern because a previous study showed that relatively high concentrations of barium, aluminium, strontium and manganese are found in rock samples from B.C.'s Montney Formation, where natural gas is extracted via fracking," said Élyse Caron-Beaudoin, a post-doctoral researcher at EPSUM and the study's lead author. "In addition, recent studies analyzing wastewater from fracking generally have shown higher concentrations of the same metals."
"It's impossible to say with certainty whether fracking caused the women's exposure to these metals," she added, "but our study does provide further evidence that this could be the case."
People - Production - Areas - Study - UdeM
Initially requested by people living near the natural-gas production areas, the study was jointly launched by UdeM researchers and the region's First Nations and public-health authorities. These communities wanted clear answers about how living near natural-gas developments was affecting their health.
"We used data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) to compare trace metal concentrations in the urine and hair of the 29 pregnant women we studied versus the general population," said Caron-Beaudoin. "However, for some metals we had to use exposure data collected in France, because similar data has never been collected in sufficient quantity in Canada."
Researchers - Concentrations - Manganese - Women - Urine
The researchers found that concentrations of manganese in the women's urine were 10 times higher than in the reference populations. As well, the women's hair had greater concentrations of aluminium (16 times higher), barium (three times higher) and strontium (six times higher) than in the reference populations in France. Furthermore, barium and strontium concentrations were higher in hair samples from indigenous participants...
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