Category Archives: Health

Trafford Council approve Igas CBM planning application – ‘fracking’s evil twin’ | SalfordStar

Davyhulme Community Protection Camp


Tonight, Trafford Council approved an IGas planning application to drill for Coal Bed Methane, seen as the `evil twin of fracking’, right next to the Trafford Centre. The application was given the go-ahead despite concerns which Friends of the Earth stated would be a “serious dereliction of duty to local residents“.

Salford anti-fracking campaigner, John Catterall, added “We’ve just got to keep fighting and fighting, and if it means occupying the land again then that’s what we will do…”

Despite serious concerns by green groups, including Friends of the Earth and the Breathe Clean Air Group, Trafford Council tonight approved an application by fracking firm IGas to drill for Coal Bed Methane on a site in Davyhulme by the M60 motorway and almost next to the Trafford Centre.

Coal Bed Methane (CBM) is gas which is trapped in coal layers, and to extract it  the coal seam must be depressurised by drilling vertically and then horizontally, whilst pumping out vast quantities of water from the coal layers. As the pressure is released, the gas starts to flow. CBM extraction does not always involve fracking, but is called the ‘evil twin of fracking’, because it often does.

Before tonight’s meeting, Friends of the Earth wrote to the Council setting out serious flaws in the Council planning officers’ recommendation for approval, re-iterated at tonight’s meeting, including health and safety, groundwater, climate change and air quality concerns, and the lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Please click here to continue to full article on the Salford Star website

You can also visit Davyhulme’s Breathe Clean Air Group by clicking on this link

Life around New Mexico’s gas wells: how fracking is turning the air foul | The Guardian

fracking poisons the air

Shirley ‘Sug’ McNall in front of a production gas well in Aztec, New Mexico. “We live in a toxic community,” she says. Photograph: Jeffrey Barbee

Leaked methane and other toxic gases are polluting the air with serious health risks for local communities whose fortunes depend on oil and gas in the shale boom state.

“My daughter has asthma. She is not the only one around here, something is wrong here, our air quality shouldn’t be this way.”

Shirley “Sug” McNall is leaning up against a fence staring at a natural gas well about 40 meters from a playground behind the primary school where her daughter used to teach in Aztec, New Mexico. She believes that the gas industry and the explosion of fracking in her state is responsible for serious impacts on local air quality which are affecting people’s health.

Her fears were boosted last year when Nasa satellites identified a methane bubble over Aztec visible from space. The bubble suggests that during drilling and production the natural gas industry is not capturing all of the gas they unlock from deep in the ground and significant amounts of this methane and other chemicals are leaking into the sky. McNall believes that other more dangerous gasses are being released too.

Northern New Mexico’s San Juan county has been the centre of intense fossil fuel extraction for decades. Here, oil, gas and coal are all pulled out of the ground. Until now, many people blamed only the coal for the bad air. That was before people like McNall and three of her friends – who call themselves the “Four Grams” – got involved and started waking people up to the danger of the 20,000 wells in their community.

Please click here to continue to original article on The Guardian website.

US EPA report confirms fracking pollutes water

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Despite investigation weakened by oil and gas industry obstructionism, EPA confirms what communities living with fracking have known for almost a decade |

June 4, 2015

Washington DC — In a watershed moment, today EPA announced fracking does pollute drinking water with the release of  the draft final version of its study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources. Congress commissioned the study in 2010 in response to increasing public questions about the risks posed to drinking water by the unconventional oil and gas boom. In 2004, an EPA study concluded that hydraulic fracturing does not threaten drinking water. From that conclusion, Congress exempted fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act. The 2004 study was maligned within the EPA and by independent scientists. The current study was intended to revisit the conclusions of the 2004 study. “Today EPA confirmed what communities living with fracking have known for years, fracking pollutes drinking water,” said Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel. She continued, “Now the Obama administration, Congress, and state governments must act on that information to protect our drinking water, and stop perpetuating the oil and gas industry’s myth that fracking is safe.”

Please click here to continue reading the Earthworks article.

Visit the EPA website to read the report in full – please click here

World Health Organisation on fracking: Outlining serious health/environmental hazards

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To read the WHO’s SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH SECTORAL BRIEFING in full please click here.

VIDEO: Voices from the Gas Fields | The film the government does NOT want you to see

This is the film the UK & Australian Governments do NOT want you to see! Documenting the accounts of families living with the hydrocarbon industry as a neighbour, this hour long documentary is shocking, as it reveals the day to day pollution these people live with – pollution of water, air, light and sound, some of the the basic human requirements needed to survive. The blind eye that the authorities and the hydrocarbon industry turn to these families living conditions, and the complete disregard to the environmental damage done to the bush by this, is truly disgraceful.

I have not seen another film like it, telling us, warning us how really dreadful life is living amongst the gas wells. I have a huge respect for the families in Australia that held onto their land and shared their stories with us. It was especially moving when Brian Monk speaks directly to the audience near the end of the video, very powerful indeed – we would be very wise to listen and act accordingly.

This film should be distributed and shown as widely as possible so we can learn and act. Full credit to Ian R Crane and his colleagues for turning around this moving, informative, high quality film in less than four months since his return from Australia. Thank you Ian and the families from Australia for the absolutely invaluable insight this film gives.

We need to take heed of the “Voices from the Gasfields” so these honourable families have not stayed loyal to their lands in vain

New study raises possible link between fracking and radon levels

fracking radon

Radonland: Fracking Radon

The Marcellus shale is particularly rich in radium and radon. Solution mining it via high volume fracking is tantamount to mining radium and radon. Increases in radon are now so common in Pennsylvania that even the EPA is proposing to something about it.

Fracking Link? High Radon Levels Found in 300,000 Pennsylvania Homes

April 9, 2015 – Levels of radon, an invisible, odorless radioactive gas, have been rising measurably in Pennsylvania since the controversial practice of fracking started there, researchers reported Thursday. The study cannot directly link fracking with the raised radon levels. But whatever is going on, residents need to be aware of the rising levels of the gas and take action to get it out of their homes, the researchers say. Radon levels were higher in homes near where there were more of these wells.

Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., killing an estimated 21,000 people a year. It occurs naturally in many types of rocks, and many people who have bought or sold a home will be familiar with the radon test on the basement or ground floor. Pennsylvania has notoriously high levels of radon, and Joan Casey of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues set out to assess all the different sources of radon on Pennsylvania homes over time.

32-page Report: Predictors of Indoor Radon Concentrations in Pennsylvania, 1989–2013

Parents threaten to remove children from school 1 mile from Lancs fracking site if application approved

Wheeton School no to fracking

Cuadrilla’s Fracking Plans Threaten Fylde Primary School

Parents at Weeton St Michael’s are concerned about the impacts of fracking and the industrialisation it entails. Their children’s school is just one mile from Cuadrilla’s proposed fracking site at Preston New Road near Little Plumpton. They have already gathered over 200 signatures on a petition they plan to submit to Lancashire County Council.

Lancashire County Council Avoid Discuss

Claire, whose daughters attend Weeton St Michael’s, said if the application is granted several parents would remove their children from the school. “The main reason parents decided to group together and petition the county council is the lack of information on the potential risk factors of a primary school being one mile away from an industrial operation.”

“No dialogue has been entered into with parents and they were unhappy with the response from the Governors and County Hall continually stating they are unable to discuss it.”

“The prevailing wind is south-westerly, and therefore most of the time, the fumes from any fugitive gas emissions, the many diesel compressors and generators will blow polluted air directly over the school and according to a recent journal, may well exacerbate respiratory and skin conditions.”

Please continue to original article on

Barton Moss fracking: High levels of contamination found at site, court hears | Salford Star


At Manchester Magistrates Court today, a District Judge heard expert evidence of contamination around the IGas exploratory drilling site in Barton Moss. Initial findings showed dangerously high levels of toxic PAHs and the hearing concerned the need for the experts to get new samples for further analysis. IGas and Peel Holdings have so far refused access to the site.

Today was a preparatory hearing in relation to defendants who face 51 charges connected to the anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss last year.

Barton Mss Fracking Igas contamination

With previous press restrictions lifted today, some of the details have emerged about massive toxic contamination around the controversial IGas exploratory drilling site, the scene of huge anti-fracking protests at Barton Moss last year.

At Manchester Magistrates Court, District Judge Prowse acknowledged the “enormous public interest” in the case and the “dangerously high concentrations” of PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) found from samples taken near the IGas site.

PAHs include acenaphthylene, anthracene, benz[a]anthracene and chrysene – toxic carcinogenic substances which have major affects on human health, as well as on livestock and crops.

Expert witness for the defence, Dr Aidan Foley, told the court he had tested for 16 compounds but needed to go back to the site to get more samples so that he could fingerprint the actual source of the contamination. Both Peel Holdings, the owners of the land, and IGas, which rented its site from Peel, had refused access.

Barton Moss fracking protestors contamination iGas

Dr Foley named a number of sources from where the contamination could have come from, including the M62 which goes past the site, historical dumping, Barton Aerodrome or from plant and machinery used at the IGas drilling site… “Would the logical conclusion be that it must have come off the site?” asked the Judge… “Yes” replied Dr Foley.

To continue reading the original article on the Salford Star’s website please click here.


Fracking & Polyacrylamide: Crucial research by Prof. David Smythe |

Cuadrilla say the only chemical they use during #fracking is Polyacrylamide, which they claim is completely safe.  However, Polyacrylamide is made of Acrylamide; a highly toxic chemical. Even the smallest amount of water contamination can lead to cancer, nerve problems and decrease of lifespan. #TalkFracking

Crucial research by Prof. David Smythe…this is essential information to counter the ‘only safe chemicals’ BS constantly repeated by Lord John Browne, Francis Egan, Gerwyn Llewellyn Williams and other ‘Mother-Frackers!’

Cuadrilla say the only chemical they use during fracking is Polyacrylamide, which they claim is completely safe. However, Polyacrylamide is made of Acrylamide; a highly toxic chemical. Even the smallest amount of water contamination can lead to cancer, nerve problems and decrease of lifespan.

Fracking could carry unforeseen risks as thalidomide and asbestos did, says report | The Guardian

Fracking in Texas : toxic chemicals used for production of natural gas in the Barnett Shale

The world could tackle climate change with energy efficiency and renewable energy alone but vested interests in the fossil fuel industry stand in the way, says report. Photograph: Julie Dermansky/Corbis

 Historic innovations that have been adopted too hastily with grave unforeseen impacts provide cautionary examples for potential side effects of fracking, says report. Fracking could carry unforeseen risks in the way that thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos did, warns a report produced by the government’s chief scientific adviser.

A chapter in the flagship annual report produced by the UK’s chief scientist, Mark Walport, argues that history holds many examples of innovations that were adopted hastily and later had serious negative environmental and health impacts. The chapter is written by Prof Andrew Stirling of the University of Sussex. The controversial technique, which involves pumping chemicals, sand and water at high pressure underground to fracture shale rock and release the gas within, has been strongly backed by the government with David Cameron saying the UK is “going all out for shale”.

But environmentalists fear that fracking could contaminate water supplies, bring heavy lorry traffic to rural areas, displace investment in renewable energy and accelerate global warming. The chapter in the report produced by the chief scientific adviser appears to echo those fears. “History presents plenty of examples of innovation trajectories that later proved to be problematic — for instance involving asbestos, benzene, thalidomide, dioxins, lead in petrol, tobacco, many pesticides, mercury, chlorine and endocrine-disrupting compounds…” it says.

“In all these and many other cases, delayed recognition of adverse effects incurred not only serious environmental or health impacts, but massive expense and reductions in competitiveness for firms and economies persisting in the wrong path.”

Fracking provides a potentially similar example today, the report warns: “… innovations reinforcing fossil fuel energy strategies — such as hydraulic fracturing — arguably offer a contemporary prospective example.”

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is fracking safe

New York bans fracking over ‘significant health risks’ | Reuters

New York state will ban hydraulic fracturing after a long-awaited report concluded that the oil and gas extraction method poses health risks, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration said on Wednesday.

New York Environmental Commissioner Joseph Martens said at a cabinet meeting he will issue an order early next year banning fracking, which has been under a moratorium since 2008. Once that happens, New York will join Vermont as the only states to completely prohibit fracking.

The decision ends what has been a fierce debate in New York over the benefits and pitfalls of fracking, a process that involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into a well to extract oil or gas. Many in the state saw gas drilling as a key economic resource while others argued it was too dangerous.

The state’s health commissioner, Howard Zucker, said there is not enough scientific information to conclude that fracking is safe.

The potential risks are too great, in fact not even fully known, and relying on the limited data presently available would be negligent on my part,” Zucker said.

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Congressman Introduces Bill to Ban Fracking on Public Lands | Food & Water Watch.Org

fracking contaminates water and damages health

Drilling and fracking come with many problems, including water contamination, air pollution, earthquakes and massive amounts of methane leakage – something that could have catastrophic impacts on the climate. Workers on fracking sites are also subject to accidents, exposure to toxic chemicals and terrible working conditions. These issues are largely impossible to regulate, as evidenced by a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, which found that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to inspect more than half of the specified “high priority” wells, which required more attention to prevent water and environmental contamination, drilled from 2009 through 2012.

“Federal lands should be preserved for the public good,” said Representative Mark Pocan. “There are serious safety concerns around fracking and it should not be allowed on our pristine public lands specifically set aside for conservation. As we learn more about fracking’s impact on the environment and people living near fracking wells, one thing is clear, the process can be harmful and the effects are not fully understood. We should not allow short-term economic gain to harm our environment and endanger workers.”

“I share Rep. Pocan’s serious concern about hydraulic fracturing, which has been shown to contaminate water sources, increase methane emissions, and even to cause earthquakes,” said Representative Jan Schakowsky. We owe it to our children and grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren, to ensure the protection of public lands. This bill – in banning fracking on those lands – helps us follow through on that important promise.”

Please click here to continue to full article on Food & Water Watch.Org

East Yorkshire gas-drilling site making locals ‘sick from noxious smells’ | The Guardian

Toxic smells from Fracking site


“The smell is hideous, very distinctive, pungent and nauseous. It comes in waves. It started last week and has continued since. It fades in and out. The area where they are drilling is very rural and the smell drifts easily a mile away,” says Debbie Stabler who lives 400m from the drill site near West Newton, near Aldbrough in east Yorkshire.

“Depending on the wind, it has at times reached villages like West Newton and Withernwick,” said Stabler, who with others have also complained about gas flaring and light pollution from the round-the-clock operation.

Please click here to continue reading original article on The Guardian’s website.

Workers at Fracked Wells Exposed to Benzene, CDC Warns Amid Mounting Evidence of Shale Jobs’ Dangers

Shale jobs are deadly


For years, the oil and gas industry has worked to convince Americans that the rush to drill shale wells across the country will not only provide large corporations with lavish profits, but will also create enormous numbers of attractive and high-paid jobs, transforming the economies of small towns and cities that greenlight drilling. The industry’s numbers are often picked up by policy-makers and politicians who back drilling, in part because talk of job growth is an especially alluring idea in the wake of the 2008 ‘financial collapse’.

But numerous independent studies have conclude that the industry vastly overstated the number of jobs that fracking has created, and that the economic benefits have been overblown. A growing body of research suggests that not only does the industry create fewer jobs than promised, the jobs that are created come with serious dangers for the workers who take them. Research made public late last month suggests that some of those jobs may be even more hazardous to workers than previously believed, calling into question the true benefits of the boom.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released preliminary results from its workplace hazard evaluations at unconventional oil and gas wells – and they show that workers can be exposed to high levels of benzene during fracking flowback. A striking 15 of 17 samples were over workplace limits set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH standards are often used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to gauge whether a chemical exposure is illegally high.

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Study shows health risks to babies born near fracking sites |

Preliminary Studies Show Potential Health Risk For Babies Born Near Fracking Sites.

Fracking health effects on babies

Can fracking operations cause health problems or birth defects in babies who are born near wells? Preliminary scientific research says that it might and that more research needs to be done as oil and gas production booms across the country.

According to a report in Bloomberg News, scientists are calling for more research into how the process of hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, impacts the environment, and how those impacts interact with genetics in unborn children living near wells. Fracking is a controversial yet popular technique used to stimulate natural gas wells underground by inject high-pressure water, sand, and chemicals miles-deep into subsurface rock, effectively cracking or “fracturing” it, making the gas easier to extract.

Fracking has been so controversial in part because of how quickly the practice is spreading in the United States without much scientific information regarding the potential impact on public health. A good number of studies look at the environmental impacts of fracking on air and water supplies, but there are few that look directly at the long-term health and quality of life of nearby residents.

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Doctors Outraged By Claims That Health Officials Ignored Residents Sickened By Drilling | ThinkProgress.Org


Pennsylvania doctors, nurses, and health policy experts are calling for a statewide investigation into claims that the state Department of Health has a policy of telling its employees never to talk to residents who complain of negative health effects from fracking, according to a letter sent to state Gov. Tom Corbett and other elected officials on Tuesday.

The letter — spearheaded by the groups Physicians for Social Responsibility, Alliance of Nurses for Health Environments, and PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center, and signed by more than 400 individual health professionals — says doctors and nurses statewide are “very concerned” about a story published in NPR’s StateImpact Pennsylvania this June. In that story, two retired employees of the health department said they were instructed not to return phone calls from citizens who said they may be experiencing sickness from fracking and other natural gas development.

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Bez and protectors at toxic Davyhulme site


Last night, Bez joined around fifty anti-fracking protectors to dramatically hand back to owners Peel Holdings land near the Trafford Centre that has been occupied for the last few weeks.

“The air pollution is so bad that everyone’s become ill so people have got to leave and we recommend that people stay away” Bez told the Salford Star “The people using the Trafford Centre’s sports facilities should be warned about the consequences of being in the area for too long – we need it investigating…”

It was only a couple of weeks ago that protectors created a new anti-fracking camp in the shadow of the Trafford Centre, underneath Barton Bridge in Davyhulme. In the days that followed Peel Holdings, which owns the land, and United Utilities, which leases the land from them, have been to court to win a possession order, and over the past few days protectors have been heavily fortifying the Camp to fend off eviction teams.

Please click here to continue to original article on the Salford Star website.


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