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University of Cincinnati Retracts Fracking Study

Fracking employees

The University of Cincinnati has retracted a study on pollution caused by hydraulic fracturing or fracking, according to Energy in Depth (EID).

The researchers for “Impact of Extraction on PAH Levels in Ambient Air” pulled the study, which showed no contamination from hydraulic fracturing, citing a mistake in their concentration calculations.

Of note, participants in the study were recruited from the group Carroll County Concerned Citizens, an anti-fracking group.

The article in question was published in March of last year and the retraction was issued on June 29th, 2016.

EID claims that Dr. Erin Hayes, who was a co-author of the article, has been a participant in anti-fracking events. EID also asserts that the authors of the study admitted that their sample sizes were too small, and that the “chief assumption used for their research model was “totally impractical.”

According to EID, among other problems, included the fact that the researchers did not use random testing and did not consider other pollution sources beyond oil and gas. EID states that in cancer hazard assessments, researchers “assumed the worst.” The study looked at levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon or PAH.

EID says that one land owner in Carroll County Ohio, which was the focus area of the study, told EID that the some of the highest concentrations of PAH were found on his property, which is located approximately ten miles from the closest gas shale well. That, says EID, stands in direct conflict with the study’s assertion that PAH levels were in correlation with the proximity of shale gas activity.

In an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation, Jackie Stewart, who is the Ohio director for EID stated: “Scientific studies by universities should be just that – scientific and without bias, especially when using taxpayer dollars to conduct the research. It’s interesting that researchers at the University of Cincinnati couldn’t wait to publish their now retracted and erroneous data on fracking and air pollution, yet they continue to delay publishing the results of their groundwater study, which showed no water contamination from fracking. This certainly raises a lot of questions.”

Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com

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  • Icepilot on July 11 2016 said:
    Gregory Foreman - It's far more than vanity, it's money & careers.
  • Gregory Foreman on July 10 2016 said:
    Such “vanity research” is rampant among academia. Supposed unbiased researchers, start off from the point of “OK, this is what I want, this is what I’ll say-to hell with the facts- I’ll through in some facts and figures to make it look and sound authoritative”. Unfortunately, the average reader of such “chicken little” research fail to question the “results” of the study accepting the findings based on the veracity of the researchers. It is the ultimate example of the “the ends justify the means”. It is an unmitigated shame fines and penalties could not be assessed for employing such an approach.

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