New interactive app detects water toxicity

By entering their zip code on the WellExplorer website or accompanying app, every US resident can

view the closest fracture locations in your state to see what chemicals are used at those sites and view their toxicity levels.

WellExplorer app creators foundfor example, wells in Alabama use a disproportionate amount of ingredients that affect estrogen levels, while Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania use a lot of ingredients that affect testosterone. The information obtained with the WellExplorer can be especially relevant to people using private water wells. This is a common occurrence in rural Pennsylvania, as homeowners may not do or order serious water tests for fracturing chemicals.

“It is known that chemical mixtures used infracturing, regulate hormonal pathways, including testosterone and estrogen, and therefore may affect human development and reproductive capacity. Knowledge of these chemicals is important not only for researchers who may be studying the health effects in the community, but also for people who may want to know more about the possible health effects depending on their proximity to the well.

Mary Regina Boland, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Besides collecting information for individuals,The WellExplorer can also be used as an important tool for environmental scientists, epidemiologists and other researchers to establish the link between specific health effects and proximity to a specific fractured well.

WellExplorer can be obtained free of charge from or downloaded from the Apple App Store.

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