CANONSBURG (KDKA) — Many attending a hearing at the Canonsburg Middle School are fearing an increase in the cancer rate in the Canon-MacMillan School District and that it may be a side effect of fracking.

So far, there’s no evidence that fracking is linked to cancer, but many in Washington County fear the oil and gas industry.

Three environmental groups sponsored the community meeting at the school auditorium Thursday night and the room was full of people with concerns about their financial future and their health.

“Shifting our economy so that residents don’t have to choose between working a job to support their family that also may impact the health of their family,” said one of the organizers.

Fracking is a method of injecting liquid at high pressure into rocks and extracting oil or gas. The fear is that the wastewater from this process is contaminating the water supply with toxic chemicals. There’s no clear link between cancer and fracking, but the community points to six cases of a rare cancer, Ewing Sarcoma, being diagnosed in the past decade at the Canon-MacMillan School District.

This includes one woman who’s brother didn’t survive.

“I don’t want kids or anybody being potentially poisoned for someone else’s pocket money,” said Carla Marratto-Cumming of the Environmental Health Project.

The industry says there isn’t a link between fracking and cancer, but next month, health experts are expected to present their findings into possible ill-effects of fracking.

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