Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Is UK shale gas extraction posing a risk to public health?

Date:
April 17, 2014
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
More needs to be done to investigate the risks to human health that extracting shale gas poses, suggests one expert, who says that risk reduction technologies should be deployed, but that reviewing the public health implications of shale gas development "requires more than merely gesturing to technological improvements. Best practices should not be mistaken for actual practices." The author asserts that scientific data should drive decisions on health and safety, instead of gestures to understudied assertions of best practice deployment.

More needs to be done to investigate the risks to human health that extracting shale gas poses, suggests a personal view published on bmj.com today.

Related Articles


Dr. Seth Shonkoff, Executive Director for Physicians Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy, and his colleagues say that operations to produce natural gas from formations such as shale sometimes occur "close to human populations," but efforts to understand the potential impacts have fallen short, focusing on regulations rather than on health outcomes.

He says that risk reduction technologies should certainly be deployed, but that reviewing the public health implications of shale gas development "requires more than merely gesturing to technological improvements." "Best practices," he adds, "should not be mistaken for actual practices." In other words, Dr. Shonkoff asserts that scientific data should drive decisions on health and safety, instead of gestures to understudied assertions of best practice deployment.

The recent Public Health England draft report on the extraction of shale gas does "recognize that many uncertainties surround the public health implications," however, there are "problems with its conclusions."

Dr. Shonkoff adds that many "public health impacts remain undetermined and more environmental and public health studies are needed." He says "more attention should have been paid to drilling in areas that are densely populated" especially following results from studies, which suggest that health risks have direct relation to the "geographical proximity of residences to active shale gas extraction" with further evidence suggesting adverse birth outcomes.

Dr. Shonkoff concludes that there is a need for the "assessment of the public health infrastructure and the ability of healthcare professionals to respond to the risks presented by the development of the shale gas industry" and that rigorous research is needed to assess the risks to public health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Is UK shale gas extraction posing a risk to public health?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417212508.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2014, April 17). Is UK shale gas extraction posing a risk to public health?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417212508.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Is UK shale gas extraction posing a risk to public health?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417212508.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins