According to Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR):
“Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a natural gas extraction process that is proving to have negative consequences for human health and for climate change. Fracking for natural gas extraction creates potentially harmful health effects along its entire life cycle: the hydraulic fracturing technique itself, as well as associated processes including road building, pad clearing, truck trips, drilling, cementing, flowback waters, offgassing, fugitive emissions, compressors, and pipelines. Among the most serious sources of concern are:
- Toxic drilling fluids and fracturing fluids, injected deep underground and then withdrawn, may contaminate underground aquifers and surface waters.
- Air emissions including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) threaten human health, especially of workers and residents of the immediate vicinity.
- Diesel pollution and noise pollution can be constant, as truck traffic is intensive and fracking continues 24-7.
- Stress factors affect the quality of life in communities where drilling occurs.
- Methane leaks accelerate climate change. Methane is 72 times more potent at capturing heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after release.
Due to the severity of these concerns, PSR believes it is critical to know and examine the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing”.
Read the Concerned Health Professionals of New York – Compendium of Scientific, Medical, And Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (Unconventional Gas and Oil Extraction) document here.
Centre for Environmental Health’s White Paper – Toxic & Dirty Secrets- the Truth about Fracking & Your Family’s Health.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology Journal Malignant human cell transformation of Marcellus Shale gas drilling flow back water
“It is clear that the proposed endeavor to extract oil and gas has major implications for human health. As the budgets of the hospitals are cut progressively, I wonder how are we going to manage with the added burden of a environmental health disaster on top of HIV and the lifestyle diseases we have to cope with?” – Dr Dela Maiwald; South African Health Professional.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for comments on the impacts of unconventional gas exploration to human health.