According to a peer reviewed Duke University study to be published on June 21 in Science of the Total Environment, fracking chemical and wastewater exposure promotes fat cell development, or adipogenesis, in living cells in a laboratory. Chris Kassotis, a postdoctoral research associate at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, stated that, “We saw significant fat cell proliferation and lipid accumulation, even when wastewater samples were diluted 1,000-fold from their raw state and when wastewater-affected surface water samples were diluted 25-fold. Rather than needing to concentrate the samples to detect effects, we diluted them and still detected the effects.”
The samples were taken from Garfield County, Colorado, and Fayette County, West Virginia, in 2014. The researchers exposed living mouse cells in a dish to one of the following: a mixture of 23 commonly used fracking chemicals, samples of wastewater from fracked oil and gas wells, or surface water believed to be contaminated with the wastewater. Kassotis said, “Further research will be needed to assess whether similar effects occur in humans or animals who drink or come into physical contact with affected surface waters outside the laboratory.”
Primary funding came from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences. Additional funding came from the University of Missouri, a crowdfunding campaign via Experiment.com, and an EPA 520 STAR Fellowship Assistance Agreement.
CITATION: “Unconventional Oil and Gas Chemicals and Wastewater-Impacted Water Samples Promote Adipogenesis via PPARγ-Dependent and Independent Mechanisms in 3T3-L1 Cells,” Christopher D. Kassotis, Susan C. Nagel and Heather M. Stapleton; Science of the Total Environment, June 21, 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.05.030
Here is a link to the published study.
Here is the link to the Duke University press release https://nicholas.duke.edu/about/news/exposure-fracking-chemicals-and-wastewater-spurs-fat-cells
Here is a link to the Duke University study short video https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=44&v=KijCWeZ58ys
The study is currently available for purchase here https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969718316620
The journal articles in Science of the Total Environment are available for free about 6 months after initial publication at this website https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/science-of-the-total-environment/articles-in-press
According to its website, “Science of the Total Environment is an international journal for publication of original research on the total environment, which includes the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and anthroposphere.”