The Nobel Peace Prize-winning international organisation of doctors, Physicians for Social Responsibility, defines fracking as:
Hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, is a natural gas extraction process that is proving to have negative consequences for human health and for climate change. Fracking for natural gas extraction creates potentially harmful health effects along its entire life cycle: the hydraulic fracturing technique itself, as well as associated processes including road building, pad clearing, truck trips, drilling, cementing, flowback waters, offgassing, fugitive emissions, compressors, and pipelines.
As many reports detail, some of the greatest risks are:
- Air pollution
- Water contamination
- Inherent engineering problems that worsen with time
- Radioactive releases
- Occupational health and safety hazards
- Public health effects
- Noise pollution, light pollution and stress
- Earthquakes and seismic activity
- Abandoned and active oil and natural gas wells (as pathways for gas and fluid migration)
- Flood risks
- Threats to agriculture and soil quality
- Threats to climate
- Threats from fracking infrastructure
- Inaccurate jobs claims, increased crime rates, threats to property value and mortgages and local government burden
- Inflated estimates of oils and gas reserves and profitability.
Read more information in the Reports section of our website.