Public Health England’s Fracking Report is Outdated and Risks Breach of Duty

PHE petition




For immediate release

4 September 2017

Lancashire anti-fracking campaigners visited Public Health England last week, to hand-deliver a petition of approaching 6,000 signatures, which urges the body to take action and review its report on health and fracking, which is now over three years out-of-date.

Lancashire campaigners Claire Stephenson and Dr Frank Rugman, a retired haematology consultant, delivered the petition to the office of Professor Paul Cosford CB, the Director for Health Protection and Medical Director, at Wellington House in London.

In 2014, Public Health England published their final version of a health report on fracking. The report was narrow in its contents and missed out some significant health evidence that indicated fracking has impacts upon public health.

Since that report, hundreds of other health reports have been published with critical evidence that now needs to be taken into account before any fracking should proceed within the UK.

A previous letter published in the British Medical Journal stated:

“The arguments against fracking on public health and ecological grounds are overwhelming. There are clear grounds for adopting the precautionary principle and prohibiting fracking.”

Claire Stephenson said:

“Public Health England has a mission statement ‘to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities’. If they are to fulfil their public duty without breach, then they must acknowledge the mounting evidence against fracking and health. The current PHE report is grossly outdated and leaves the public open to insurmountable negative health impacts.

“Isn’t it enough that our communities have had fracking forced upon them, let alone leaving residents unprotected and vulnerable? We are asking, as a matter of urgency, to review the latest evidence and create a new, comprehensive and more importantly, independent report.”
Dr Rugman said:

“The UK Faculty of Public Health has endorsed the call for an immediate moratorium on fracking due to the possible serious public health risks involved, which include potential health hazards associated with air pollution and water contamination; these include toxins that are linked to increased risk of cancer, birth defects and lung disease.

“Fracking activity could pose additional risks in the UK when compared to experiences elsewhere, because of the proximity and size of surrounding populations.”


Notes for the Editor

  1. Image attached is Dr Frank Rugman and Claire Stephenson, at Public Health England, handing in the petition.
  2. Compendium of Scientific, Medical and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks And Harms of Fracking (Unconventional Gas and Oil Extraction)


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