A University of Cincinnati study regularly cited by activists claiming that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, causes air pollution was quietly retracted due to “errors” and “incorrect” calculations.
The researchers admitted that correcting their errors “changes air concentrations significantly relative to those reported in the published article. This correction also changes some of the conclusions reported in the original article.” Researchers retracted the study because of a basic math error caused by the use of incorrect units and improper use of a spreadsheet.
The study was announced at an event hosted by the anti-fracking group Carroll County Concerned Citizens and the study’s co-lead author, Dr. Erin Hayes, has also participated in other anti-fracking events.
The study had numerous flaws, as participants were actively recruited by the anti-fracking activist group, did not use random testing and did not account for sources of health hazards other than oil and gas activity. The scientists behind the study previously admitted that the sample size used for their study was too small and that the chief assumption used for the research model was “totally impractical.”
“Scientific studies by universities should be just that – scientific and without bias, especially when using taxpayer dollars to conduct the research,” Jackie Stewart, the Ohio director for the pro-industry group Energy In Depth, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It’s interesting that researchers at the University of Cincinnati couldn’t wait to publish their now retracted and erroneous data on fracking and air pollution, yet they continue to delay publishing the results of their groundwater study, which showed no water contamination from fracking. This certainly raises a lot of questions.”