The latest science on fracking’s health impacts

Earthworks is part of a global coalition petitioning the United Nations to endorse a ban on fracking.

As part of that effort we asked The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) to do a literature review of the latest published scientific research regarding the health impacts associated with unconventional oil and gas extraction (UOG in their review, “fracking” in common parlance).

Although I encourage you to read the whole document, TEDX’s main conclusions are worth highlighting:

It is clear that the scientific evidence on adverse health effects from UOG is increasing steadily, with little evidence to the contrary. Cancer, hormone disruption, respiratory problems, and more, are all risks faced by millions of people worldwide as a result of exposure to UOG. Of particular concern are threats to vulnerable populations such as children born or living near UOG. A recent study demonstrated that in the US alone, 17.6 million people live within 1,600m (~1 mi) of at least one active oil and/or gas well.”

The pace of science simply cannot keep up with the pace of UOG expansion. Thus, we have all become subjects in a worldwide experiment to see what happens after exposure to UOG. Yet we did not consent to participate in this experiment, and we cannot opt out. Neither can future generations who have no voice in their fate. We who can speak for ourselves have a right to stop this experiment before there are no unexposed control subjects. In all our decisions, we must put human and ecological health above the economic benefits of UOG, and our full effort into the safer energy sources that already exist today.”