Asthma Attack Increase for Residents Close to Fracking Sites
PRESS RELEASE 21st July 2016
Official: Asthma Attack Increase for Residents Close to Fracking Sites
Preston New Road Action Group are again raising the dire issue of health-related diseases from fracking. A substantial seven-year study from America, with samples from 35 counties in Pennsylvania and representative of over 35,500 patients, has confirmed that residents who live close to fracking sites are at increased risk of worsening asthma and breathing conditions.
“Residents of communities undergoing fracking and those nearby can be exposed to noise, light, vibration, heavy truck traffic, air pollution, social disruption and anxiety,” stated Sara Rasmussen, of Johns Hopkins University to Reuters.
Dr Frank Rugman, a co-author of the 2015 Medact Report and a member of the Preston New Road Action Group said:
“This is not unexpected. The latest research from the eminent Johns Hopkins University is the first objective study showing adverse respiratory symptoms associated with the fracking industry in rural Pennsylvania. We expect that further evidence of harms to public health will accumulate. This will be of particular concern to residents in the much more densely populated Fylde.”
During Cuadrilla’s application to Lancashire County Council for exploratory drilling and Preston New Road and Roseacre on the Fylde Coast, Lancashire’s Director of Public Health, Dr Karunanithi, made 61 Health Recommendations for local residents. These recommendations have not been met.
During the Lancashire planning application hearings, Dr Karunanithi stated:
“There is no other body that is planning to implement baseline health outcomes in Lancashire. Health outcomes are not part of the regulatory bodies’ agenda. I am unable to provide any assurance that this (health monitoring) will be in place on time. On balance, I recommend that the committee considers that no development shall commence until a scheme for established a baseline and ongoing monitoring of health and wellbeing outcomes of the local residents, as well as the workers onsite, has been submitted to the county planning authority and approved in writing by the Director of Public Health.”
Claire Stephenson from Preston New Road Action Group said:
“Why are still waiting for the government to respond to so many critical health warnings from fracking? Are they ignoring the flood of science from across the world, showing fracking to have many negative health outcomes, because it doesn’t match their own financial interests? Public Health England’s own fracking report is grossly outdated and inadequate in its scope. Lancashire’s Director of Public Health has clearly stated that no development should go ahead without baseline health monitoring, of which Cuadrilla refuse to do.
“Dr Karunathi’s public health statement regarding no health monitoring being planned is critically relevant now because up until this week, the public and health professionals were not aware of the the definite harm to asthma patients.
“Preston New Road has many residents within a few hundred metres’ locality, some of whom have serious and debilitating breathing conditions, including asthma, pneumothorax and COPD.
“It is a scandal that only a mile away, Weeton St Michael’s Primary School has been ignored from all planning considerations to do with air particulates and emission levels. Are we to sacrifice our children’s health and lives, in favour of a handful of jobs and a company with no social license to proceed? This is a clear conflict with our human rights and one that will be acted upon.”
Notes for Editors:
- Association Between Unconventional Natural Gas Development in the Marcellus Shale and Asthma Exacerbations
- Fracking associated with asthma flare-ups
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