At ScienceBlogs, The Pump Handle posts, Maternal health and fracking: Is there a link?:
In recent months, spikes in birth defects, and stillborn and neonatal deaths in drilling-dense regions of Colorado and Utah has raised the attention of local communities, researchers, and public health officials. There is still much to be studied to be able to determine if there is in fact a causal link between hydraulic fracturing and adverse outcomes for infants and children. However, preliminary research is starting to suggest that there very well could be a connection. Researchers McKenzie et al. in a recent study released in February 2014, observed an association between proximity to natural gas wells within a 10-mile radius of maternal residence and a prevalence of congenital heart defects and possibly neural tube defects (an opening in the spinal cord or brain that occurs in early development) in an area of Denver, Colorado. These findings strongly suggest that rapid and thorough further investigation is warranted.
The authors are concerned but cautious. If this post supported big industry, online trolls would claim the science was settled, time to move on (as with the Diet Soda study). Instead I expect to read comments that correlation does not prove causation. But dismissing correlation altogether is also a fallacy.