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Guest post by David Lowry: Fracking’s hidden hazards

David Lowry2In this guest post, Dr David Lowry, of the Institute for Resource and Security Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, highlights warnings in recent reports on potential health impacts from fracking.

A study published by independent academic researchers at the University of Missouri at the end of 2013 found greater hormone-disrupting (so-called ‘gender-bender’ chemicals) properties in water located near fracking than in areas without drilling.

Endocrine disruptors interfere with the body’s endocrine system, which controls numerous body functions with hormones such as the female hormone estrogen and the male hormone androgen. Exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, such as those studied in the MU research, has been linked by other research to cancer, birth defects and infertility. (for full study see: http://medicine.missouri.edu/news/0214.php)

Other US-based scientists at Yale University have found 55 fracking pollutants linked to cancer, including 20 associated with leukaemia or lymphoma. Their recent study concluded:

“These findings support the hypothesis that exposure to unconventional oil and gas development could increase the risk of leukaemia”.

The pollutants linked to leukaemia include: benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde and several toxic types of hydrocarbons. More than 80 % of the 1,177 water pollutants and 143 air pollutants from the US fracking industry couldn’t be assessed for cancer risk because of a lack of data, the paper, published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, stated.

Moreover, research published in the US by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found levels of radon in Pennsylvania homes – where 42% of readings surpass what the US government considers safe – have been on the rise since 2004, around the time that the fracking industry began drilling natural gas wells in the state. (Increased Levels of Radon in Pennsylvania Homes Correspond to Onset of Fracking, April 9, 2015; www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2015/increased-levels-of-radon-in-pennsylvania-homes-correspond-to-onset-of-fracking.html)

In the UK, the heath watchdog, Public Health England, warned in a report published three years ago:

“If the natural gas delivery point were to be close to the extraction point with a short transit time, radon present in the natural gas would have little time to decay … there is therefore the potential for radon gas to be present in natural gas extracted from UK shale.” (Shale gas extraction: review of the potential public health impacts of exposures to chemical and radioactive pollutants, 30 October 2013; https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/shale-gas-extraction-review-of-the-potential-public-health-impacts-of-exposures-to-chemical-and-radioactive-pollutants-draft-for-comment)

Interested readers should also consult the over 200-page Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking – a fully referenced compilation of the evidence outlining the risks and harms of fracking, produced by the  Physicians for Social Responsibility (www.psr.org) and the Concerned Health Professionals of New York (www.concernedhealthny.org).

  • Dr. David Lowry is a senior research fellow at IRSS. He is also an independent research consultant based in London, UK, with specialist knowledge of UK and EU nuclear and environment policy.

Please get in touch with DrillOrDrop here if you have a proposal for a guest post

110 replies »

  1. Yet another study that finds ‘potential’ problems that re not going to occur in the UK. If there are so many problems in the US where are the lawsuits in the most litigious country in the world? Why to Public Health England caution against looking at studies with different regulatory regimes?
    In the UK chemicals such as are cited are not permitted and there is no pollution pathway for flowback fluids. Se para 4 of http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2010/9780111491423/schedule/22

    • Just realised this was published in 2013. Why publicity now? That means its been looked at by PHE and not considered significant. PHE are a stututory consultee on all shale gas applications after all, and are responsible for using relevant evidence. So why is this an issue now? Especially seeing as one of the director of the organisation is was a founder of the appalling ‘Physicians for Social Responsibility’ something like a US ‘Medact’. Trying to provide evidence that shale gas is harmful without any evidence of any harm.

      The Radon gas thing has also been looked at by PHE in detail as can be seen here in chapter 5. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/332837/PHE-CRCE-009_3-7-14.pdf

      • and the FINAL copy 2014 … (not the draft) also states.

        ‘Using the existing UK model (Dixon, 2001), it is estimated that natural gas containing radon at the upper end of the range (2,923 Bq m–3) reported by the USGS would give individual exposures of the order of 60 Sv y–1. This is small compared with the average annual UK radon exposure of around 1,300 Sv.
        Unwanted flammable gases arising from natural gas wells are sometimes flared off. Radon may be present in such gas flows. In these circumstances, any radon released would be rapidly dispersed in the atmosphere and would be very unlikely to lead to any significant public radiation exposure.’

        The simple fact is that this has been looked at and is of no significance.

    • Nikola Tesla’s birthday today, born 10th July 1856. Inventor of AC generators, and countless innovations we accept as normal today.
      Most of his inventions were stolen from him, or stamped upon and hidden, because he upset too many profit motives and his free energy generation for all could not be monitored or metered.
      The most remarkable inventor of free energy was born 161 years ago today.
      And what have we done with the offer of free energy security he gave freely us?
      He was not interested in money or ego, his genius is unmatched even today.
      And while the storms of jealous hubris and ego continue to be displayed here, perhaps today we should stop and think and ask ourselves exactly what it is we should be doing for the future, not just for ourselves at present, but for future generations?

    • Paris Agreement?? Air pollution?? I want clean energy for the future of my children and my grandchildren. Who profits from this ‘fossil’ fuel?? They are out of date. We have the technology (if supported by Government) to have a cleaner future, without any more destruction to what is still a beautiful planet; which would recover and manage beautifully without robber baron Energy companies banging more nails in its coffin.

        • There seems to be some mistaken belief that renewable energy companies are not in business to make as much money as possible? Are they all charities? Check out Community Windpower, Banks, all the foreign ones…..

    • Let’s just put this “work” in perspective, shall we? The author of the study cited by Lowry, Dr. Susan Nagel, is an avowed anti-fracktivist. In fact, she has gone so far as to appeal to the notorious Josh Fox for assistance in funding her studies after the National Institute of Health declined her request because the work wasn’t robust enough to be funded. Dr. Nagel has publicly endorsed “Gasland” and claimed that it contained “a lot of good information” despite the film being summarily dismissed by scientists across most related disciplines.

      Dr. Nagel’s papers have been widely criticized by independent government scientists. She has never been able to link a threat from fracking to any ill effects on humans.

      It is not surprising that PHE, the EPA, and other governing bodies have dismissed all of the above scare stories long ago.

      • Thanks, Philip. From your article: “The studies only show links, not cause and effect, and are not based on direct calculations of exposure to contaminants.”

        I believe there was also a study that showed low birth weights and cardiovascular events that were highly correlated to the incidence of peanut butter and pickle sandwiches in a geographic area. You might want to check into that!

        • Such off the shelf responses are meaningless Fibs. Anyone who wants to know more will read the source anyway and won’t be deterred. If you understood how modern science works, in dealing with complex systems (climate, biology etc) you would not offer the old school linear-causation shtick. Studies that show statistically significant correlation are not in themselves setting out to prove the chains of causal interconnection. That doesn’t make them less significant.

          • Yes, causality is so old-school, Philip. Your new breed of “complex system science” isn’t burdened with fundamental concepts like that, is it? Just show some correlation, and then hump the press for coverage.

            Well, here’s your opportunity to prove me (and all of the scientists at the NAS, EPA, Royal Academy, RAE, and elsewhere) wrong. Show me one single study that presents a p value of less than 0.05, a large sample size with a high confidence level, a high correlation coefficient, high specificity (not likely that the measured indication is caused by something else), a well defined and coherent mechanism of action that has been demonstrated as plausible, and a gradient impact.

            I’m anxiously awaiting your “modern science” answer, Philip!

            • First prove your contextual statement that that all EPA scientists all agree that fracking has not led to groundwater contamination. That is simply false.

              Causality in complex systems are not solved using linear equations. You should know that and that’s what I’m getting at. In any climate model for instance you can’t say that the disappearing north pole caused this storm here or that temperature there. Super computers and in the future quantum computers will go a lot further in resolving these things as dynamic patterns with far more predictive power.

              You probably love classical formulae because you guys can hide behind the inevitable ‘margins of error’ factors – as some kind of Achilles heel. Nevertheless the vectors of health impacts are clear enough and although you can show that the probability of your operations, say, causing pathways from fracking/flow-back contaminants to groundwater, is very low, you cannot show that it is zero. Let’s see you put a numeric value on that probability, aggregate it with other risk factors – let’s see (we can keep it simple with just below ground stuff) just to include the stats on cement failures, casing failures, earth tremor induced problems and methane migration due to unanticipated faults or fissures. Being such an expert you will have all these stats at your finger tips. I’d like to see the colour of your maths… kindly aggregate these risk factors for a single well, and then for a field of 1000 wells. I look forward to your results and observing your working techniques.

              • Jack, you need to be a little less gullible and more independent in your analysis. The EPA didn’t reverse anything. If you read the final version of the report, you will see this. “Reversing” implies that they went in the opposite direction, and they clearly did not.

                No one has ever disputed the fact that fracking can contaminate drinking water. So can one million other things. Accidents occur, and they need to be guarded against.

                The EPA removed the language which stated that there was no evidence of systemic impact, but this doesn’t mean that they found evidence of systemic impact. In fact, it is clear from reading the report that the data did not change, only the commentary changed, and systemic impact was never established. The only reason they removed the language is that certain interests complained to the EPA that they couldn’t prove there was no systemic impact because the data was not complete. Yet the data can never be 100 percent complete and thus the difficulty in proving a negative.

                You can find evidence of what I am saying if you read the SAB letter reviewing the EPA study. That letter’s dissenting view says: “We did not find evidence that hydraulic fracturing mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic
                impacts on drinking water resources in the United States” is accurate, clear, concise, unambiguous, and
                supportable with the facts EPA has reviewed.”

                So be a little more careful to understand the facts before just accepting biased media accounts, Jack.

            • Jack, you aren’t getting this. Read my response above and you will see the following: “No one has ever disputed the fact that fracking can contaminate drinking water. So can one million other things. Accidents occur, and they need to be guarded against.”

              There is a risk to water supplies in most industrial operations. There is a risk to water supplies in many non-industrial operations.

              The cases where the EPA found that water supplies were contaminated by gas operations were isolated and were not directly related to the actual physical act of fracturing rock. They were typically caused by spills and poor well completions.

              Another way to approach this is through logic, Jack. If the EPA had reversed itself and said that fracking was a systemic threat to human health and water supplies there would have been a furious uproar across many parts of the States. There would be no more fracking. No parent or grandparent would support fracking and every single politician in the country would be out to kill the industry. None of that happened, Jack, and it isn’t because parents in America don’t care about their children.

              Anyway, don’t be taken in by hyperbolic and misleading headlines The media is a tool.

            • The EPA reversed its decision to use the phrase ‘fracking has shown no widespread systemic impacts’ . Simple as that. Science won the day on that one. There’s quite a good discussion on it here http://blog.ucsusa.org/gretchen-goldman/the-epa-withdraws-claim-that-fracking-has-no-widespread-systemic-impacts-on-drinking-water.

              Pity for our old GBH stand-in hballpeeny who had been bouncing off the ceiling with glee – swinging that phrase around like a baseball bat.

              • Yes, they stop using the statement, but not because any new data was revealed. There is still no evidence of systemic impact, as they noted in a number of places in the report and the SAB review of the report. They simply took a more cautious approach to describing findings.

    • And the UK gold standard regs operated well in respect of external cladding to tower blocks, didn’t they. Then there was BSE, we were assured that it could not transfer to humans, we were also reassured that organophosphates were not harming farmers and until the evidence was overwhelming, tobacco didn’t cause cancer either. I think most people would prefer to base their health on the hundreds of peer reviewed scientific papers that identify, serious and worrying health impacts associated with the fracking industry, rather than take the risk of being told a decade or more later, “whoops we got it wrong”.

        • EID is a good propaganda arm for O&G – your bible I guess. I bet you find it hard to work ‘off script’.

        • fibonacci009

          Referring to the above link you direct us to look at.

          There is NOT ENOUGH MEAT ON THE BONE with this report.

          This report has cherry picked 32 studies (( which it does not name )) of which it then highlights flaws in 8, it then generalises and suggests that all other studies against the fracking industry are possibly flawed.

          Trully an amazing article, of word manipulation.

          In their report, Resources For the Future ( RFF ) have raised points regarding the framework used to determine the data which opponents of the fracking industry have put forward , but yet RFF offer SWEET FA to prove the concluding data from opponents is wrong.

          Let’s remember ladies and gentlemen that RFF is one candle in the wind. There is an avalanche of world leading medical , scientific and engineering organisations that warn us of the dangers of this industry.

          BUT LET’S NOW BE FAIR , they did also criticise the Fracking industry for putting out fake information.

          http://www.rff.org/blog/2017/neither-side-gets-its-science-right-maryland-fracking-ban-debate

          PS…….. There is ONE OTHER THING TO CONSIDER……… could this possibly be a case of ??????????

          Natural Gas Industry Could Be Paying Of Scientists

          https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.wired.com/2012/07/gas-fracking-science-conflict/amp

          • Jack, they picked the studies that were supposed to represent the greatest threat to fracking and examined them. Many of the other studies have been debunked elsewhere. Many of the studies aren’t worth reviewing because the authors concede that their findings do not draw a causal link between fracking and human health issues. As the paper says, the anti-fracking brigade has put a premium on quantity over quality. This is a smart strategy in that it can con gullible laymen into believing there is “overwhelming” evidence against the practice while at the same time making it difficult to fight the “evidence” because it is so voluminous. Yet there is a reason that the EPA, NAS, RAE, Royal Academy, ASA and others have rejected all this psuedo science – it doesn’t prove anything.

            When someone can show me a single study that demonstrates fracking has a systemic impact on human health or water supplies I will concede the argument, but none of your 900+ studies has done that.

            • Earth to planet Fibs. Everywhere fracking has been in the United States there have been complaints of water pollution and contamination. You could start by working your way through the four thousand odd water related complaints in PA if you like. I have lost count of the examples of real people turning up at meetings with their containers of polluted water in hand.

            • The New Yorkers’ complaints surely weren’t brought about by noticing a sudden rise in problems between before and after fracking. I bet theirs were ongoing.

              • And what evidence do you have to prove the sudden rise post fracking? And have you done an analysis to control for hyperbolic media reports and their influence on complaints? Just wonderin’.

            • YES fibonacci009,

              We are all still laughing at the cherry picked 32 studies, that mysteriously are not named.

              As far as we are concerned, they may of picked a study on fracking from my next door neighbour and the local Kebab shop owner.

              It’s truly laughable …. ALL I ASK is for people on here to read the comments in my above posts and veiw the links, then take a look at link fibonacci009 link has supplied .
              Make up your own minds.

              As far as studies go , I can show you an endless number world leading organisations that are warning us of the dangers of fracking.

              For starters , this long list of UK medical professionals are warning us of the dangers in the British Medical Journal. Do you take heed of their warnings ???

              Public Health England’s draft report on shale gas extraction

              http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g2728/rr

              • Seriously, Jack? They specifically name studies. Did you even bother to read it?

                [Edited by moderator]

                Again, can you show one study that determines a causal and systemic relationship between fracking and negative impact on human health or water quality?

                The answer is NO. You cannot. Your studies don’t do so which is why you will evade and deflect this question each time I ask it. They hypothesize about all kinds of ill effects. They present all kinds of data without showing a causal relationship and often time ignoring data that does not support the claim they attempt to make.

                There is a reason that independent scientific bodies agree with me and disagree with you.

                From your PHE report, ” Based on current evidence it is not possible to conclude that there is a strong association between shale gas related pollution and negative local health effects. However, there is clearly potential for negative health impacts”

                Enough said. There is potential for negative effects – of course there is potential just as there is for any industrial operation. We do know that there are large and long-term positive health impacts from fracking – not just a potential for positive impacts but actual realized positive impacts. Hopefully you get the point.

            • To add to my previous post fibonacc009 , for you to simply say other studies have, quote, ” Many of the other studies have been debunked elsewhere. Many of the studies aren’t worth reviewing ” is worthless without supporting evidence. In fact it’s as worthless as the RFF report with its mysterious unnamed , cherry picked studies. Your generalisation that many fracking studies against the industry are worthless is strangely just like the RFF report. It makes me question if YOU WROTE THAT REPORT.

              It’s like me saying I’ve been to the Moon, but just take my word on it.

              • Actually, nothing is unnamed, Jackthelad. You have just made that up out of thin air.

                Again, show me a single study that can support the claim that fracking systemically threatens human health. All I need is one, Jack. Shouldn’t be hard if you have 900+ to choose from, right? So, support your claim.

            • I’m sorry fibonocci009, that you did not read the link I put forward properly .

              Here is a section from that link, quote, ” Mr. Burke said that the new report found evidence that fracking has contributed to drinking water contamination in all stages of the process: ”

              (( IN ALL STAGES OF THE PROCESS.))

              It’s common knowledge that even with a 31% budget cut , it’s arms tied behind its back, blind folded, restricted as to what, when, where and how it can conduct its research and with extreme political pressure from O&G chums in the Senate/White House…… The EPA, still found evidence of contamination.

              LET’S ALSO TALK about some of these other, so called, EPA investigations.

              EPA’s Abandoned Wyoming Fracking Study One Retreat of Many

              https://www.propublica.org/article/epas-abandoned-wyoming-fracking-study-one-retreat-of-many

              • You still don’t get it do you? Last time for you, Jack. The report says that contamination can happen, and that there is evidence that it has happened. There is nothing new in that and nothing controversial in that either.

                What the EPA has also said, in fact the same Thomas Burke that you quoted, is ““The overall incidence of impacts is low.”

                Mistakes happen, but there is zero evidence of systemic impact. That is why the EPA report didn’t lead to any changes in fracking in the US. It confirmed what we have been saying all along. There are dangers from fracking, but they can be contained, and they have been contained in all but a few cases.

            • fibonicci009
              Yet again you are showing us nothing.

              I’m sorry but your word on this matter accounts for nothing ..
              WE both hide behind our keyboards , anonymously and unless you can show that you are some world leading specialist in the field of medicine, science or engineering, it will continue to account for very little, without supporting evidence.

              I do not pretend to have the answers, which is why I put forward links from professional organisations for the points and questions I raise …

              What about Nobel Peace Prize winners Pysicians For Social Responsibility ( PSR )

              Have they got it wrong when they warn us of the dangers of Fracking ????

              Hydraulic Fracturing

              http://www.psr.org/environment-and-health/hydraulic-fracturing.html

              Take your pick from this long list.

              Maybe we can go through them one at a time on this forum .

              • I’ve never once asked that you trust me, Jack. I would worry about you if you placed trust in anyone who posted on this board. No, I have cited independent scientific bodies – those that don’t have an axe to grind and that serve the public to provide balanced and truthful opinions. These would be organizations such as the EPA, the National Academy of Scienes, US Geological Survey, California Council on Science and Technology, Wyoming Dept of Env Quality, and the US Dept of Energy’s Naitonal Technology Laboratory.

                The organizations that you cite are anti-fracking activists. That alone isn’t reason enough to completely dismiss them, however. If they make sound scientific arguments based on empirical evidence, it doesn’t matter what their bias is. We should all listen.

                This isn’t the case with PSR (funded by the vehement anti-frack Park Foundation) or any of the studies you have cited. That is why these groups’ “reports” are ignored by the objective scientific bodies.

                PSR for instance has been criticized for misleadingly claiming that US methane emissions have increased 30 percent over the last decade at a time when the EPA’s GHG data had declined over the period. PSR said that the industry produced dangerous levels of benzene, and based that claim on a study that was debunked by numerous scientists including those at Colorado’s Dept of Public Health. PSR claimed that the industry contaminated “enormous” amounts of water, in direct contradiction with EPA findings in which the head of the EPA conceded that “the overall incidence of impacts is low.”

                Don’t believe me, Jack. Believe in science and those that strictly adhere to the scientific method. Usually organizations that have a mission to support a cause will inject bias into their work.

    • No, I am not an expert in anything. I do know people who are tho… Thats the folk at PHE, (or RAE, and so on). And you Phillip P? Expert in Nimbyism perhaps? I see you posted below a local newspaper article based on one of hundreds of papers that when looked at show no evidence of harm. Thats no more evidence than a bloke telling something in the pub.

      Even Medact in 2016 admitted there is no evidence of any health effects. One of their key points was ‘Based on current evidence it is not possible to conclude that there is a strong association between shale gas related pollution and negative local health effects.’, so you can add that report to one of the hundreds that even Medact say indicates nothing.

    • Oil has cause a lot of polluting damage, one way and another, to this planet for years. I want clean air and clean water. We cannot achieve this if we carry on down the fossil fuel road.

  2. Not in my Back Yard is a relevant phrase… forget the ‘ism’ bit. I don’t think your idea of evidence is going to wash with the residents of local hamlets and any housing within a mile or so of the fracking sites proposed here … pad sites that are going to be more densely clustered with wells it appears (in the long run) than most in the States. The thousands of reports of skin irritation, hair loss, breathing disorders and nose bleeds from those people living within such proximities are what, to be ignored? https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-069X-13-82
    Data is slowly but surely being gathered by concerned citizens because the industry isn’t taking responsibility for it. Like you it just seeks to suppress or ignore anything that might get in the way. The longer term impacts, medically speaking are starting to look undeniable as well. http://publicherald.org/hidden-data-suggests-fracking-created-widespread-systemic-impact-in-pennsylvania/

    • That data sure is slow, Philip. We’ve been fracking for 60+ years in the US, and for around thirty years using hvhf. Workers have spent their entire careers on fracking rigs, without greater incidence of disease than background rates for the population. So where is all of your evidence, and exactly why is it taking so long to put it together? None of your scare stories suggests causality, Philip.

      • If you use the 60+ years argument your in deep water straight away because the crude early forms of fracking generated several studies warning of well water contamination as a know danger. There are several safety factors built in to modern hvhf practices but they’ve statistically been overridden by the fact that the practice wasn’t envisaged as being carried out at such a commercial scale and intensity. Business and profits and has driven it into a danger zone for health and environmental impacts. The industry has supported the science that maximizes returns from the processes involved and simultaneously passed a blind eye (largely) to many of the other matters which science is now catching up with. I bet you know all about the impacts but it is only in your interests to not reveal these or to minimize their appearance to all and sundry. You will be found out and exposed, mark my words.

        • Well contamination and water contamination is always a danger, Philip. The issue is that there has still not been a single case where the fracking process has been shown to have contaminated the water table. There have been cases where poor well completions led to contamination of wells. This is true despite something close to 2 million wells being fracked. We’ve been doing large commercial frack jobs for some 40 years and workers have spent their careers on fracking equipment and we haven’t detected outsized health risks. That’s the evidence, Philip.

          • PA, Texas, Colorado, Australia, Canada …. (large fines and law settlements and/or industry fines from regulators. Thousands of complaints. of course with the republican fossil fuel leaning domination of the federal regulatory body, and the judiciary, in the States, a great cast iron lid is clamped down on the findings and the determinations. After a 3 million dollar settlement in Texas the fears of an avalanche of claims was quelled by calling it a ‘nuisance’ settlement. A similar model was adopted in Dimock PA.

            • Yes, a massive conspiracy, Philip. Tens of thousands of people plotting to kill everyone off and even to endanger their own families. You are definitely on to something my man. Don’t believe anyone who claims you are delusional! LOL

            • I see you’ve run out of ready-made responses. Bet you wish you had better ways of explaining these things away. Too bad.

      • fibonacci009,
        Blind unwillingness to even consider or take heed from the warnings coming from professional doctors, scientists and engineers is a danger to humanity.

        If you are a reflection as to how this industry operates, then we all need to work twice as hard to make sure this industry gets banned in the UK.

        Just like it is in an ever growing number of US states and countries around the world.
        Although I’m sure to you , they have ALL got it wrong .

        • Jack, I can name 20 jurisdictions that have not banned fracking for each one you can name that has. So, your argument just doesn’t hold water.

          The issue has become highly politicized and almost every single anti-frack claim has proven false when inspected under the disinfecting sunlight of scientific method. So, yes, many of us are wary of your “pal-reviewed” studies that often make hype-filled claims and then never deliver.

          If a time comes where fracking is shown to be causing ill-health effects systemically, or when someone can demonstrate a mechanism of action that would threaten human health with significant probability, then you can bet that society will take note and the practice will stop immediately. After 30-40 years of commercial fracking operations and no such evidence, it is highly unlikely to be produced. The majority of sound-minded professionals and citizens understand that fracking can be undertaken safely if proper controls are put in place.

  3. Why publicity now Ken? You know the answer to that, and so do I.

    Ramp up the scaremongering to justify the next stage. Science out of the window and cause and effect trashed. Into the “high proportion of obese people near US fracking sites” territory.

    Just about as accurate as FOE and Lake District, which is now a World Heritage site! There will be claims, undoubtedly, that it was made so to prevent fracking, so is a “win”.

    Desperate times, desperate measures-it’s all part of the process.

  4. All studies you quoted are open access. This means the authors paid the journal to get their studies published. While they are peer review journal most article are published regardless.
    But the key things are all data in these studies, as in previous studies reference by the authors, found a weak association of potential risks. The stats and sample size suggest the association might be due to small sample sizes. For example only a positive association was found in the highest futile. This is very weak association and in medical study won’t stand up in argument as a cause and effect proof. Many things have higher association risk factor than those in these studies. Examples drinking hot coffee daily and throat cancer risk. High power line and leukemia or proximity to highway and children leukaemia. But these activities are not banned by any means. Confounding factors probably contribute to these associated risks in these studies.

    • Surely these reports are most accurately described as alarm bells, not as alarmism or scare mongering. Isn’t it time to wake up?

      • We need to learn the lessons of the past,

        Let’s take Tobacco and Asbestos for instance.
        Manufacturers knew their products were dangerous, yet with huge profits and vested interests at stake, the population were led like lambs to the slaughter for decades.

        Some people may try to belittle these professional studies that warn us of the dangers of Fracking, offering little if nothing to substantiate their claims as to why they should not be taken seriously .

        BUT my main question is, WHY when an almost endless number of professional bodies are screaming out about the dangers of Fracking, should I have my health put at risk for what some on here say is the “national interest” ?

        WHY ?

        Should we not be looking at this industry more closely before we unleash it in to our densely populated communities ?

        • Jack, rather than trying to belittle anything, we are merely pointing out that scientists have shown that the work done in your “peer reviewed” studies has failed to provide a link between fracking and harmful effects on humans. So, when the government comes out and says that they believe fracking can be undertaken safely, it is not some vast conspiracy to poison Jackthelad, rather it is founded on the scientific method.

          • fibonacci009
            You are clearly talking “off the cuff ” with your above comment. So let me put this to you.

            The residents living in Davyhulme , Manchester and in the immediate surrounding areas, live in what’s called an ” Air Quality Management Area ”
            It has been shown the air quality in Davyhulme and the surrounding areas REGULARLY breach EU toxic air quality guidelines.

            CAN YOU GUESS what the current government in 2012 decided when a private firm wanted to build a large incinerator in this densely populated housing area ??????????????????????

            ANY IDEAS ?????????

            I will put you out of your misery.

            They overturned the Trafford Councils rejection of the incierator and to make matters even worse they allowed the stack height of the chimney to be reduced by 50% from what is recommended to facilitate the owners of a small Private Airport . Incidently whose owners are the ones building and who will own the incinerator.

            If you would like any more information on the above subject.
            All information/details is available on the Breath Clean Air website, Manchester

            • To update on the above……….

              Although permission for the Biomass Incinerator in Davyhulme, Manchester has been approved…….. Construction of it has not started, YET.

            • Fibonacci009,
              With reference to your comment , quote, ” my Incinerator Tale ”

              I put forward a case, with a website address for the Breath Clean Air Group, Manchedter for further confirmation/information which questions the comment you made , quote, ” So, when the government comes out and says that they believe fracking can be undertaken safely, it is not some vast conspiracy to poison Jackthelad ”

              Is the health of the people, really of paramount concern when it comes to money ?????

              I look forward to your comments on the matter.

  5. Only alarm bells if you suffer from tinnitus.

    It’s a tactic, but one that was discredited widely during the EU Referendum. It will excite the converted, but do nothing with the wider audience. I will stick with that wider audience until there is solid, scientific data, that actually represents the UK situation.

    Always the way if you put on the blinkers. Two days ago, within the G20, it was 19v1. Well, that meant Vlad was serious about Paris, which was obviously false. So, 18v2? Err, don’t think so, as some of those 18 were expecting money to flow to them from Trump, and without that, will not commit. Always wise to DYOR, as I think was suggested recently. Just one possible outcome is when that is done people come to a different conclusion. It’s what makes life so interesting.

    • Dogmatism is not a valid response to research Martin. The knee jerk put downs of of anyone coming up with findings against your industry, and in some cases the aggression and vehemence with which those denials are made, is suspicious in itself. People will want to know more.

      • Philip, it is normal and appropriate for scientists to study the impact of various industrial applications on the environment and on society. What is not normal is that scientists take on the role of activists and push an agenda through their science, compromising scientific ideals along the way. It is also not okay that activists take scientific work and jump to unfounded conclusions based on that work. We have been studying the impacts of fracking with great care for decades and systemic impacts have not been found. This doesn’t mean we should stop looking, nor does it mean that systemic impacts do not exist. We can say, however, based on existing work that fracking appears to be safe when best practices are followed. We can also say that fracking is responsible for some widespread public health benefits including a reduction in airborne emissions such as particulates and co2, as well as a reduction in fuel poverty. These, of course, are far from trivial impacts.

        • The only reason it seems that you want to keep abreast of that science is to keep two steps ahead of how best to control inspections, how and when measurements are taken and how recordings are logged that might show incriminating evidence. Concealment, shredding of evidence and misreporting of data is endemic in your industry, as shown again and again.

          • A) It’s not my industry. I don’t work in it, and I don’t work for it.

            B) Yes, we understand it is a massive conspiracy involving tens of thousands of people who have all kept miraculously silent as they slowly try to kill everyone on earth. You are onto something, Philip!

              • Well, as usual, it appears that you believe you know more than you actually do, Philip. I think this trait is taught in anti-frack school, is it not?

            • No, still learning, observing, researching. I’ve never come across an anti-frack school. Is there such a thing? What’s your interest then, financial consultant? not a scientist for sure.

            • My interest is my business, not yours. You can concern yourself with facts and analysis, don’t worry about my personal life. I will accord you the same respect.

    • So Fire alarms are just a tactic then? Are blinkers a similar tactic? Or do they perhaps assist in ignoring the alarms? Perhaps ear muffs are also required?

      There must surely be obvious and concerning correlations and connotations pointing to recent horrifying events to raise at least a little alarm?

      Are alarms just fear mongering then? Clearly i did not anticipate the depth and extent of the condition?

      Does a red light at a traffic junction mean anything? An orange light? A speed restriction sign? A Pedestrian crossing? A 4 minute warning? Fireguard? Hazard warning? Radiation warning? Sunglasses? Minefield? Wake up alarm?

      Filter?

  6. Yes, PhilipP, people will want to know more, but will look a little wider than you do. I can’t see any aggression or vehemence there and no reason for you to be suspicious, or to claim it is “my industry”. When you keep going with such false statements it is you producing suspicion.
    People will disagree with you because they don’t think your arguments are scientifically or economical valid. If you want a mirror to your viewpoint you will not find it here-it would be suspicious if you did.

    • That’s a bit rich from someone who clearly hasn’t even looked at, or shown any considered response to the research pointed to.

  7. Ruth – It Only takes 1 mistake to cause a disaster.

    Please can you run something on PORTER RANCH CAlIFORNIA? People were expected to move back in and are ill. Porter Ranch is an example of permanent damage to health and property values when there is an uncontrolled methane leak or issue with permanently securing chemicals in the horizontally drilled holes from seeping. The main problem is that these energy & drilling companies are not required to provide INSURANCE to all residents and businesses to cover the impact of the risky drilling. Our MPs and Planning Officers don’t really understand the risks!

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/07/us/california-porter-ranch-gas-leak-emergency/index.html

    http://abc7.com/news/porter-ranch-residents-say-they-smell-gas-getting-sick-again/1721527/

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-socalgas-liability-20160108-story.html

    https://www.girardgibbs.com/porter-ranch-gas-leak/
    http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-fi-eight-mile-leak/

    • Thanks Cindy, I mentioned this several posts ago, to the usual put down and ignore response, well done for raising it from a USA perspective.

  8. Guys half the pro-frackers here are also a fan of MR PROFITS twitter feed – greedy profit seekers. Don’t trust or listen to a word they say. Brockam is the beginning of the end.

    • Brockam? Or Brockham Cindy? Fracking at Brockam, shale gas at Brockam (where is this place?) No fracking at Brockham, no shlae gas at Brockham, conventional oil in carbonates at Brockham…….

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