Author: Carol Hutchinson (Page 1 of 3)
Concerned Health Professionals of the UK (www.chpuk.co.uk )
are delivering a letter to Theresa May today, signed by 147 Health Professionals, appealing to her green legacy aspirations. We are asking her to recognise the health risks from fracking and the threats to the climate crisis that it brings.
Methane has a high impact on climate change, 80 times worse than CO2. It is vented or leaked onshore and offshore as a result of gas extraction in the UK. With the methane come other, more toxic gases, which may be the pathway for the range of significant and inevitable impacts on health. Fracking is particularly poor in releasing methane to the environment. Worse still, the intended use for much of the fracked gas is for plastic production.
The whole process of fracking is highly damaging to communities and its often rural locations. It is deeply unpopular in those areas but also across the country. The manifesto of Conservative Environment Network calls for a ban of fracking, demolishes the supposed benefits it should bring and recognises it is woefully unpopular with Tory voters who prefer onshore wind.
This experiment should be over, the people have demonstrated in many ways over and over that they don’t want fracking, They don’t want more investment in gas production and they don’t want the plastics. Health professionals call for a wise legacy from Theresa May and a safer future from key ministers and leadership contenders.
Dr Tim Thornton (Retired GP)
Co-Chair Concerned Health Professionals of the UK
Middleton Hall; Pickering, YO188NX.
Carol Hutchinson (Retired Nurse)
Co-Chair Concerned Health Professionals of the UK
Tel: 0114 2280825
Ref CEN https://www.cen.uk.com/manifesto Page 22
Concerned Health Professionals of New York (A compendium of peer reviewed science, a good read for a week)
The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment have released a new toolkit – Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals – which has been created as a resource that can be used by CAPE members and other health professionals who want to become move actively engaged in the issue.
The modules in the Toolkit have been created to provide a solid foundation on climate science and international agreements, global health impacts and the health impacts being experienced in Canada, and the sources of and trends in climate emissions across Canada. It also provides a good base of information on the immediate health co-benefits associated with a number of climate solutions, the actions that can be taken in health care facilities to mitigate and adapt to climate change, the actions that can be taken in our communities to minimize the health impacts associated with climate change, and ideas about how health professionals can engage in the issue.
Visit the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment website
View the Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals
Food & Water Watch’s Wenonah Hauter, Fashion Icon Vivienne Westwood, Hollywood Actress and United Nations Human Rights Champion Amber Heard Ask UN To Consider Fracking Afront To Women’s Rights In The UK
American Statistics Show Pregnant Women Living Near UK Fracking Sites Have A 40% Risk Of Premature Birth
Brussels/Washington/London/Geneva, 25 Feb 2019
A co-signed letter from a group of environmental organisations and human rights activists to The Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) recommends that the United Nations ban fracking in order to protect the health and well-being of women threatened by the dangerous drilling practice in the United Kingdom.
Representatives of the UK Government are meeting CEDAW in Geneva on Tuesday, 26th February 2019.
In the Summer of 2018, CEDAW asked the UK Government to provide information on the measures being taken to mitigate and address the health and environmental impacts of toxic substances on women and girls, in particular rural women, due to planned fracking activities.
The UK Government answered in November 2018 that it has: “a robust regulatory system which provides a comprehensive regime for exploratory activities,“ and ”tough regulations in place to ensure on site safety, prevent water contamination, and mitigate seismic activity and air pollution.”
Activists have argued that the UK government’s measures are not sufficient to protect women.
Dame Vivienne Westwood, Hollywood Actress and United Nations Human Rights Champion, Amber Heard and Wenonah Hauter, Founder and Executive Director of Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe have all signed a letter to the CEDAW along with environmental groups such as Food & Water Europe, Talk Fracking, #BreakFreeFromPlastic, Frack Free United; academics such as Dr. Damien Short, Co-Director of the Human Rights Consortium, London and Energy Policy Professor Peter Strachan, Aberdeen, together with the Concerned Health Professionals UK and the National Union of Students.
They also strongly disagree with the claims made by the UK Government.
The group believes women’s rights are compromised because:
– Fracking is linked to higher rates of cancer, nervous, immune and cardiovascular problems in women.
– Pregnant women who live near active fracking operations have a 40% increased risk of giving birth prematurely and 30% have obstetrician-labeled ‘high-risk pregnancies, according to a Pennsylvania study by the Concerned Heath Professionals of New York.
– Fertility and menstrual problems in women can be caused from exposure the fracking chemicals including benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX chemicals).
– Miscarriages and still births can be caused by the heavy metals found in fracking waste water.
Amber Heard said on Twitter, retweeted by Vivienne Westwood: “Only a comprehensive ban can protect women and human rights from the destructive impacts of fracking in the UK.”
Vivienne Westwood says: “We want to highlight the harm fracking causes pregnant women. Pregnant women who live near active fracking operations in Pennsylvania were at a 40 percent increased risk of giving birth prematurely and at a 30 percent increased risk for having obstetrician-labeled high-risk pregnancies. This is an example of the virulent, poisoning effect of fracking to all life and we therefore want to support Amber Heard and the group asking for CEDAW to demand that it stops.”
Wenonah Hauter, Founder and Executive Director of Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe. “We’ve experienced the negative impacts of fracking on rural women in the US. The UK Government still has the opportunity to prevent this and must ban fracking.“
A group of doctors, nurses and other health professionals launch their campaign for an end to fracking in England on Wednesday 21st November 2018.
The launch took place at an event in Barlborough, Derbyshire, hosted by CHPUK patron Dr Ian Fairlie. Dr Fairlie is an internationally recognised consultant in environmental radiation. His published research is particularly concerned with the health effects of radioactive emissions. He spoke to the audience on his professional concerns relating to the health and environmental impacts of fracking.
Dr Ian Fairlie on accepting the role of Patron of Concerned Health Professionals UK said:
“Given the serious health problems facing us all from air pollution through to global climate change. The establishment of Concerned health Professionals of the UK is a timely initiative. I look forward to working with colleagues in the discipline of Public Health to ascertain, analyse and act upon our many concerns in the UK today.”
The organisation are calling on fellow Concerned Health Professionals to sign their open letter to the Prime Minister, urging a halt to fracking on the basis of significant evidence of risks and harms to health. CHPUK is affiliated with Medact, whose 2015 & 2016 reports into the health impacts of fracking found serious concerns.
Dr Deirdre Duff, Fossil Free Health Campaigner with Medact said:
“We welcome the formulation of Concerned Health Professionals UK and look forward to hosting a joint event with them on fracking and fossil fuel divestment in Leeds during January 2019.”
“Fracking poses concerning health risks to both local and global communities. We cannot afford to burn all the fossil fuels in currently operating extraction sites if we are to avoid catastrophic, irreversible climate change. So, the idea of starting new fracking projects in the UK is absurd.”
“Fossil fuel driven climate change is already impacting the health of millions and threatens to reverse the last half century of gains in global health development. Like CHPUK we wish to see an urgent ban on fracking and look forward to working with them as they strive to achieve this.”
The launch of CHPUK follows the success of Concerned Health Professionals New York where they achieved a fracking ban in New York. Also Concerned Health professionals of Ireland, who celebrated a victory in 2017 a vote to ban fracking was passed by the Irish Parliament.
Meanwhile in England, fracking commenced in October for the first time since 2011. Large parts of England are currently facing fracking which is not permitted in Scotland or Wales.
Carol Hutchinson a former Senior Nurse responsible for Clinical Governance and Clinical Risk said:
“Evidence clearly indicates that the health of people living and working within 1.5KM of a fracking site will be most at risk, in particular, that of women of child bearing age and those with chronic health conditions.”
“Is our government willing to take these risks with our health? Personally, I find it entirely unacceptable that there are no acceptable minimal set back distance’s imposed on the industry through regulation, within the much trumpeted ‘Gold Standard Regulations’.”
News site in development.
We are Launching Concerned Health Professionals of the United Kingdom on 21st November 2018. We look forward to populating the ‘Latest News’ section of the site in the very near future. We will share key peer-reviewed science and other well sourced material. We will give links so that you may check back to the original articles.
We have support from Concerned Health Professionals of New York who produce a regularly updated review of government data, peer-reviewed science and some newspaper reports. All are referenced back to the original sources to ensure there has been no bias or inaccuracies introduced.
Their latest compendium is v 5. You may wish to dip into their comprehensive overview via https://concernedhealthny.org/
Warn others however, you may be some time.
CHPI would like to extend a sincere thanks to all those Health Professionals who signed the letter to the Government advising of the risks and harms of fracking to the people of Ireland. The Letters and signatures were delivered to the Taoiseach and the Ministers of Health & Communications, Climate Action and Environment on the 18th May, a year to the day from the launch of the campaign. The Bill is now at the 4th stage in the Dail, the debate commenced last Wednesday 24th May and is due to conclude this coming Wednesday the 31st May. You can watch it live at the link below from 10am on the 31st May 2017 http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/watchlisten/watchoireachtastv/
Does fracking violate human rights?
The links between employment and ill health continue to be uncovered by research. However, the type of employment we seek to bring to a area is important. It is reasonable to pursue strategies that will result in realistic numbers of sustainable and safe jobs. The High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) industry and its supporters, often make promises that the industry will “…lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs and could turn the entire area into one big boom town.” The truth is very far from this, besides the fact that the jobs are dangerous, Dr Brenna O’Roarty, has prepared a comprehensive economic analysis of the proposal to drill for shale gas in Fermanagh. The executive summary of the report concludes “In short, the net economic benefits are deeply negative over a short and long term horizon”. The full report on the economic analysis is available here along with a summary report in presentation format.
Extract from the 4th Edition of the Compendium (pages 20 & 21)
In May 2015, the Medical Society of the State of New York passed a resolution recognizing the potential health impacts of natural gas infrastructure and pledging support for a governmental assessment of the health and environmental risks associated with natural gas pipelines. (See footnote 720.) The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a similar resolution that supports legislation requiring all levels of government to seek a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment regarding the health and environmental risks associated with natural gas pipelines. (See footnote 719.) In May 2016, Physicians for Social Responsibility called for a ban on fracking, stating, “We cannot stay healthy in an unhealthy environment. Nor can we survive indefinitely on a planet growing hotter and more prone to extreme, unpredictable and destructive weather. These factors impel PSR to call for a ban on fracking and for a rapid transition to cleaner, healthier, carbon-free sources of energy.”52 In July 2016, the UK health professional organization Medact released an updated assessment of the potential health impacts of shale fracking in England, concluding that the United Kingdom should abandon its policy to encourage shale gas extraction, and urged an “indefinite moratorium” on fracking. (See footnote 878.) In October 2016, group of health care professionals in Massachusetts called for an immediate moratorium on major new natural gas infrastructure until the impact of these projects on the health of the communities affected can be adequately determined through a Comprehensive Health Impact Assessment.53 The group noted that the operation of natural gas facilities risks human exposures to toxic, cancer-causing, and radioactive pollution due to the presence of naturally co-occurring contaminants, toxic additives to the hydraulic fracturing process used to produce much of the country’s natural gas supply, and through the operation of transmission pipelines.54 Also in October, in a unanimous vote of the society’s 300-member House of Delegates, the Pennsylvania Medical Society called for a moratorium on new shale gas drilling and fracking in Pennsylvania and an initiation of a health registry in communities with pre-existing operations.55, 56 Other U.S. medical groups calling for bans or moratoria include Chesapeake PSR and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. Concerned Health Professionals of New York, which provided science for the successful effort to ban fracking in New York State, has inspired affiliations of like-minded public health scientists and health care providers that are now advocating for moratoria or bans on fracking in various other regions. These include Concerned Health Professionals of Maryland, Concerned Health Professionals of Ireland, and Concerned Health Professionals of Neuquén, Argentina.
52 Physicians for Social Responsibility (2016, May 13). PSR position statement calling for a ban on hydraulic fracturing. Retrieved from http://www.psr.org/assets/pdfs/psr-fracking-policy.pdf
53 Massachusetts Health Care Professionals Against Fracked Gas (2016, October). Call for a moratorium on natural gas projects undergoing construction or review in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved from http://mhcpafg.org/
54 Massachusetts Health Care Professionals Against Fracked Gas. (2016, February 20). The role of comprehensive health inpact assessment in evaluating natural gas infrastructure proposals in Massachusetts. Retrieved from http://mhcpafg.org/
55 Pennsylvania Medical Society (2016, October 23). Resolution 16-206: Pennsylvania Medical Society support for a moratorium on fracking. Retrieved from https://www.pamedsoc.org/PAMED_Downloads/HODAEC/16-206.pdf
56 Hopey, D. (2016, October 28). Doctors call for a state ban on drilling and fracking. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved from http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2016/10/27/Doctors-group-calls-for-moratorium-onfracking-in-Pennsylvania/stories/201610270226
Concerned Health Professionals of New York and Physicians for Social Responsibility (2016) COMPENDIUM OF SCIENTIFIC, MEDICAL, AND MEDIA FINDINGS DEMONSTRATING RISKS AND HARMS OF FRACKING (UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND OIL EXTRACTION) 4th Edition
(Available from http://concernedhealthny.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/COMPENDIUM-4.0_FINAL_11_16_16Corrected.pdf)