Category: Press (Page 1 of 2)

Congenital heart defects and intensity of oil and gas well site activities in early pregnancy

A new paper from a seasoned researcher on the impacts of fracking on health finds an increase in congenital heart defects associated with exposure to oil and wells in the first two months of pregnancy.


Lisa McKenzie wrote her first paper in 2014 and found the association but returned to the examination of the statistics and renewed scrutiny of the distance from the wells and the activity of the wells. She also looked at exposure during the first 2 months of the pregnancy.

What she found was that babies who had been most exposed to the oil and gas wells in their first 2 months of life in the womb had between a 40% and 70% increased chance of having a heart abnormality when compared to those in the study with the least exposure.

The heart develops early in pregnancy so the early exposure can cause defects during this crucial time.

Most people would not be comfortable with an industrial process capable of doing such harm to an unborn baby. It will be the same here in the UK. We know that the, much praised, offshore rigs and gas fields leak huge amounts of gas to the air and that the old unused wells leak at the level of the sea bed. We have seen how recent drilling and test fracking onshore have resulted in leaks and venting of significant amounts of ‘natural’ gas. This contains not only the climate damaging methane but also a variety of other gases that cause ill-health and can contain radioactive elements. We cannot say that regulation and engineering will protect us as we have seen that it is a real and present problem. One easy way to reduce the risk would be to site the well a long distance from homes and schools. Both UK Industry and Government resist this despite the ability to drill up to five miles sideways to access the sweet-spots and argue instead for no pre-set minimum distance from pregnant women and children.

As the Conservative Environment Network manifesto rightly says – ‘fracking is woefully unpopular’. It might have added that it is remarkable harmful to human health also.

Link to the paper

CEN manifesto see p22

For a wide ranging look at health impacts from fracking
and note also the letter from Dr Jerome Paulson with link on the opening page.

Health professionals urge PM to “secure her green legacy by banning fracking”

New post on DRILL OR DROP?
Health professionals urge PM to “secure her green legacy by banning fracking”

by Ruth Hayhurst

181013 pnr (10)

Anti-fracking protesters outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, 13 October 2018 Photo: DrillOrDrop

A group of 143 doctors, nurses and health specialists has called on Theresa May to ban fracking in her final fortnight in office. Read more of this post

View the full article on DRILL OR DROP web site:

Press Release 10th July 2019

Concerned Health Professionals of the 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.
(01751 472283)

Carol Hutchinson (Retired Nurse)
Co-Chair Concerned Health Professionals of the UK
Tel: 0114 2280825

Ref CEN Page 22
Concerned Health Professionals of New York (A compendium of peer reviewed science, a good read for a week)

Click here to see redacted letter


Conservative Environment Network calls for a ban on fracking

The Conservative Environment Network calls for a ban on fracking and is explicit on its reasons.


The Conservative Environment Network (CEN) is an independent forum, MP
caucus, and membership organisation for conservatives who support conservation
and decarbonisation. As such, we:
1. create a positive agenda for the environment across the conservative
movement, finding unity and common purpose, and directing it
towards real change;
2. are a platform for different parts of the conservative movement to
express and debate views on how to achieve better environmental
3. act as network, mobiliser, and convener and do not undertake policy
research ourselves;
4. rely on peer-reviewed research to inform any positions we take or topics
we discuss; and
5. are independent and transparent about our funding and sponsorship.
This paper serves to provide a space for parts of the conservative movement to express
and debate views on how to achieve better environmental outcomes, and was kindly supported by the JMG Foundation.


I. We recognise the gravity of the global environmental crisis, and our duty to
preserve and restore our planet for future generations.
II. We agree that by working with nature, rather than against it, we can grow
our economy faster and more sustainably – and that the environment provides
essential services that underpin economic growth.
III. We believe that the best route to net zero emissions is through a prosperous
market economy that innovates quickly.
IV. We know that transformational change starts with the responsibility of the
V. We believe that the UK has a duty to display global leadership on the
environmental crisis.
Peter Aldous MP
Rt Hon Richard Benyon MP
Ben Bradley MP
Steve Brine MP
Maria Caulfield MP
Alex Chalk MP
Simon Clarke MP
Robert Courts MP
Tracey Crouch MP
Philip Dunne MP
Michael Fabricant MP
Vicky Ford MP
Rt Hon Sir Roger Gale MP
Zac Goldsmith MP
Luke Graham MP
Richard Graham MP
James Gray MP
Rt Hon Greg Hands MP
Mark Harper MP
Rt Hon Sir Oliver Heald QC MP
James Heappey MP
Kevin Hollinrake MP
Nigel Huddleston MP
Sir Bernard Jenkin MP
Rt Hon Sir Oliver Letwin MP
Tim Loughton MP
Rachel Maclean MP
Scott Mann MP
Sarah Newton MP
Neil O’Brien MP
Dr Matthew Offord MP
Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP
Victoria Prentis MP
Antoinette Sandbach MP
Andew Selous MP
Henry Smith MP
Sir Nicholas Soames MP
Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP
Derek Thomas MP
David Warburton MP
Helen Whately MP


p 22

Ban on fracking

A ban on fracking is overwhelmingly sensible for four main reasons:

One, gas from fracking offers little in the way of economic opportunity, and much more in the way of stranded assets. For a host of reasons including population densities, political dynamics and water distributions, it is extremely unlikely that the UK will be able to exploit our shale reserves in the way the US has.

Two, even if UK shale gas resources could be exploited at scale successfully we would not benefit from the significantly lower gas prices. The amount we pay for gas is largely determined by two things: the international liquefied natural gas spot market price and the European gas price. Consuming UK gas at the cost of production would require significant subsidies.

Three, fracked gas would only help to reduce our emissions if it replaced coal, which has already been almost entirely removed from the national grid. And, in addition, it could lead to unpredictable, ‘fugitive emissions’ that leak out of pressurised equipment.

Four, we know that security for the energy transition can be found elsewhere from cheap renewables, hydrogen, and nuclear, for example. In short, we know that in roughly ten years’ time we should be turning away from gas.

Finally, as a cherry on top, fracking is woefully unpopular. Over twice as many Conservative voters believe that we should generate power from onshore wind than from fracked gas.

If we are serious about our transition to a more secure world we now need to step away from the oil and gas economy on which we have relied on in the past.

Action imminent

The time is here. We are preparing to send our letter to key ministers at Westminster.
If you have colleges that wish to support this letter please remind them now!

Concerned Health Professionals of New York is the organisation that inspired and supported our efforts to alert health professionals to the possible harms of fracking in the UK. They have produced an update of their collection of evidence based articles, papers and opinions which reflects the 15 years of experience of fracking in USA and to a lesser extent Canada, Australia and UK. The whole Compendium is an interesting read, raising as it does, concerns across a number of areas. Dense scientific papers have been condensed to a readable paragraph and I expect that many will wish to use the links to read the originals and decide on the accuracy of the simplicity. This is the go-to reference for fracking and health, the environment and communities. Dip in and decide for yourself. The extracts here are from the overview of the sections.

The document can be downloaded from this link:

Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals!

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.


For more information
Visit the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment website
View the Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals

Concerned Health Professionals UK (CHPUK) launch anti-fracking campaign

A group of doctors, nurses and other health professionals launch their campaign for an end to fracking in England on Wednesday 21st November 2018.

Lt to RT  Patron, Dr Ian Fairlie.  Middle: Co Chairman, Carol Hutchinson. RT Dr Tim Thornton, Co Chairman

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.

Lt to RT Dr. Ian Fairlie, Carol Hutchinson and Dr. Tim Thornton

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’.”

Dr Tim Thornton speaking at the launch


Launch Date 21st November 2018

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

Warn others however, you may be some time.

The 4th Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms Of Fracking (Unconventional Gas And Oil Extraction) by Concerned Health Professionals of NY

Source: Concerned Health Professionals of NY » Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms Of Fracking (Unconventional Gas And Oil Extraction)

Why Fracking Should Never Happen in Ireland

Read CHPI’s article in the ICPP Forum Journal.

Click here to read the article  icgp-forum-article-fracking


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