Does fracking contaminate water with hormone disrupting chemicals?

Susan C. Nagel, PhD

University of Missouri

$50,000Next Goal
This project was funded on:
28 June 2014
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Budget Overview

Our project goal is to examine the association between fracking and hormone disrupting activity in residential drinking water as the first step in protecting the health of our children. Hormone disrupting chemicals, also known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, are chemicals that can alter normal hormone action. We study sex hormones, estrogens and androgens, which are required for normal development, growth and fertility.

Funds will be used for travel to collect water samples and for interviews with residents. A substantial portion will be used for lab supply costs: to process water samples, test for hormone disrupting activity, and analyze chemical composition. Salary support is not requested. Updates from this work will be posted on this web site, and findings will be presented at scientific meetings and published in professional journals. In addition, the results will be used as the basis for grant applications to the National Institutes of Health.

Meet the Researcher


Susan C. Nagel, PhD, Associate Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, has researched hormone disruptors for 20 years and will lead the team.

Christopher Kassotis, PhD candidate in the Nagel Lab, EPA STAR Pre-Doctoral Fellow, will perform the majority of the laboratory work.

J. Wade Davis, PhD, Associate Professor, Co-Director, Biostatistics and Research Design Unit; biostatistician

Don Tillitt, PhD, Branch Chief, Biochemistry and Physiology Branch, Columbia Environmental Research Center, US Geological Survey; toxicologist

Chung-Ho Lin, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, School of Natural Resources; analytical chemist

Jane McElroy, PhD, Assistant Professor, Family and Community Medicine Department; epidemiologist

Avner Vengosh, PhD, Professor, Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Nicholas School of Environment, Duke University; geochemist


NPR news story
LA Times News Story
International Business Times
University of Missouri Article

Our initial study journal article (pdf) made the cover of Endocrinology
"Estrogen and Androgen Receptor Activities of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Surface and Ground Water in a Drilling-Dense Region"

Part of our team, expert geochemist Avner Vengosh's paper was selected paper of the year in Environmental Science and Technology:
"Impacts of Shale Gas Wastewater on Water Quality in Western Pennsylvania"

Vengosh news clip for the Duke University Nicholas School
Announcement from ES&T web site

Nagel Lab Website

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Project Backers

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