Fracking operations, especially in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, cause elevated radiation levels as much as 12 miles downwind from drilling sites, researchers from Harvard University found.
When inhaled, radioactive particles increase the risk of lung cancer. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, analyzed EPA data from 2011-2017 and areas 12 miles downwind of fracking wells. The researchers found the areas had radiation levels on average 7% higher than normal background levels. Researchers found much higher radiation in areas closer to the sites and in areas with high concentrations of fracking.