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 March 1, 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 March 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 27, 2015) A dongle that plugs into a Smartphone mimics a lab-based blood test for HIV and syphilis and can detect the diseases in 15 minutes, say researchers. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Doctor Says Head Transplants Possible Within Two Years

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) An Italian doctor is saying he could stick someone&apos;s head onto someone else&apos;s body. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) reports. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

How Your Dentist Could Help Screen You For Diabetes

Newsy (Feb. 27, 2015) A new study from researchers at New York University suggests dentists could soon use blood samples taken from patients&apos; mouths to test for diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

The Best Tips to Makeover Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to boost your health this season, there are a few quick and easy steps to prompt you for success. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best tips to give your health a makeover this spring! Video provided by Buzz60
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