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.

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 September 21, 2014 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 September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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:
from the past week

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