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Fracking effects worry doctors in drilling area

WHEELING, W.Va. — Dr. Russell Lee-Wood said when he began practicing family medicine in the Barnesville and Freeport areas 21 years ago, the breathing problems he diagnosed in patients were relatively rare or minor.

During the last six years — as Marcellus and Utica shale frackers have installed well sites, compressor stations, processing plants and related infrastructure in eastern Ohio — Lee-Wood said cases of asthma and emphysema have become more common and severe. The situation is especially bad when there is significant flaring taking place, he said.

“These industrial leaks are like an invisible oil spill happening every day. I have seen firsthand that this pollution can cause significant health problems in my patients who live in the communities surrounded by oil and gas development…

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