Experts Urge Ban on Fracking Based on 1500 Studies & Reports

by Duane Nichols on July 5, 2019

Toxic chemicals result in risks to the public health

Total Ban on Fracking Urged by Health Experts: 1,500 Studies Showed ‘Damning’ Evidence of Threats to Public Health, Climate

From an Article by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams,, June 20, 2019

A comprehensive analysis of nearly 1,500 scientific studies, government reports, and media stories on the consequences of fracking released Wednesday found that the evidence overwhelmingly shows the drilling method poses a profound threat to public health and the climate.

The sixth edition of the Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (the Compendium), published by Physicians for Social Responsibility and Concerned Health Professionals of New York, found that “90.3 percent of all original research studies published from 2016-2018 on the health impacts of fracking found a positive association with harm or potential harm.”

The analysis also found that:

>> 69 percent of original research studies on water quality found potential for, or actual evidence of, fracking-associated water contamination;
>> 87 percent of original research studies on air quality found significant air pollutant emissions; and
>> 84 percent of original research studies on human health risks found signs of harm or indication of potential harm.

There is no evidence that fracking can operate without threatening public health directly and without imperiling climate stability upon which public health depends,” the Compendium states.

Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York, said in a statement that “the case against fracking becomes more damning” with the publication of each edition of the Compendium.

“As the science continues to come in, early inklings of harm have converged into a wide river of corroborating evidence,” said Steingraber. “All together, the data show that fracking impairs the health of people who live nearby, especially pregnant women, and swings a wrecking ball at the climate. We urgently call on political leaders to act on the knowledge we’ve compiled.”

According to the Compendium, the first edition of which was published in 2014, the “feverish pace” of U.S. fossil fuel extraction — which has accelerated under President Donald Trump — “has spurred a massive build-out of fracking infrastructure,” putting air quality and water sources at risk in communities across the United States.

In addition to the harmful effects of fracking on those who live near oil and gas development projects, the Compendium found, the drilling practice is “also at odds with the emerging scientific consensus on the scale and tempo of necessary climate change mitigation and with rising public alarm about the impending climate crisis that this consensus has amplified.”

“Despite efforts by the gas industry to suppress all health data on fracking, the Compendium documents the serious harm fracking holds for pregnant women, children, and those with respiratory disease,” Walter Tsou, MD, MPH, interim executive director of Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility, said in a statement. “We need to ban fracking.”

The sixth edition of the Compendium comes just days after more than 100 environmental groups sent a letter urging Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to investigate the link between fracking and the emergence of rare childhood cancers in rural Pennsylvania counties.

As Steingraber — one of the letter’s signatories — told online environmental outlet The Daily Climate on Wednesday, much of the data in the Compendium comes from Pennsylvania, which is home to over 100,000 active oil and gas wells.

“What makes fracking different from any other industry I’ve studied in public health is that there’s no industrial zone,” Steingraber said. “It’s taking place literally in our backyards, and unfortunately some of the best evidence for both polluting emissions and emerging health crises is coming out of southwestern Pennsylvania.”

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rose Tetreault July 8, 2019 at 11:15 am

How is this still legal after all the damage and evidence of damage?

Is money more valuable than human life? Not to mention of wildlife and environmental damages.

When are we going to stand up to the large corporations?

Does it bring jobs-yes- but who needs jobs if they are sick with cancer?

Rose Tetreault


David Gray July 16, 2019 at 8:00 am

Fracking and health connections are well established

Letter To The Editor from David Gray

Editor, The New Castle News:

This is a response to an article entitled “Fracking worries ignited calls for moratorium” in the June 20, 2019, issue of the New Castle News. In the article, the PA Health Secretary, Rachael Levin, reported that there is not enough evidence to connect fracking with increased sickness after examining 20 fracking and health articles.

The results of three recent rigorous scientific studies were not reported. Titles of the three studies that were ignored were: 1) “Unconventional gas and oil drilling is associated with increased hospitalization rates;” 2) “Hydraulic fracturing and infant health, New evidence from Pennsylvania,” and 3) “Association between unconventional natural gas development in the Marcellus shale and asthma exacerbations.”

Findings indicated a significant correlation between drilling and a wide range of illnesses requiring hospitalization; for example cardiac problems were 27 percent higher.

Asthma hospitalizations were 4 times as frequent as in no fracking zones. And underweight births were 25 percent more frequent when proximity and density of wells were examined.

These three definitive studies analyzed literally thousands of hospital records of illnesses related to fracking. The studies used extensive controls for extraneous variables, and even included experimental elements such as pre-drilling vs. post-drilling tests, and comparable counties where drilling and no drilling occurred. Also proximity and density of wells were carefully measured.

These three works were done by major universities and health centers and were published by prestigious journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The Health Secretary was not beholden to science. We will need gas and oil for a long time to come but drilling does not belong anywhere around people.

David Gray, New Wilmington, Lawrence County, Penna.


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