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Health Professionals Call for Fracking Ban

April 1, 2015
Public Health

frackingTwenty prominent health professionals have expressed their concerns about the impacts of fracking on public health in a letter published in the British Medical Journal. Signatories included Royal Pharmaceutical Society chief executive Helen Gordon and former chief medical officer Dr Sheila Adam.

The letter was drafted in support of a new report from health charity Medact, which recommends a UK-wide moratorium to be placed on fracking because the level of risk to human health from the controversial practice cannot be calculated. The document also warns against comparing the UK to experiences elsewhere, due to the proximity and size of surrounding populations. Medact director Dr David McCoy told the Guardian, “We’re not trying to be alarmist and we’re not trying to over-egg the risks. I certainly know that there are a lot of anti-fracking groups that really exaggerate the risks of fracking, and I don’t think that that’s particularly helpful. But on the other side I think that there’s an exaggeration of the extent to which fracking is safe and can be effectively regulated. What’s really important is that we have to live with this holistically and comprehensively.”

Earlier this year the Scottish parliament imposed a moratorium on all planning consents for what it termed unconventional oil and gas extraction, which includes fracking.

You can download a copy of the Medact Report ‘Health & Fracking: the impacts & opportunity costs’ here