Pennsylvania study finds link between gas drilling and premature births

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Women are more likely to have premature babies and high-risk pregnancies the more they are exposed to unconventional natural gas development, according to a new study based on more than 10,000 babies born in the shale-gas region of Pennsylvania.

Expectant mothers with exposure to high levels of unconventional natural gas development are more like to have premature births and high-risk pregnancies, a new study says.

The study, released by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health on Thursday, found that mothers who lived near the highest levels of gas-industry activity were 40 percent more likely to give birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy than those where the industry was least active.