Fracking: Health Hazards

Department of Health written question – answered on 11th December 2017.

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Photo of Mark Menzies Mark Menzies Conservative, Fylde

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what discussions his Department has had with Public Health England on updating its report of 2014 on the effect of shale gas on public health.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Public Health England (PHE) reviews the evidence base on the health impacts of chemical and radiological emissions associated with shale gas extraction as it emerges, considering the available evidence as a whole. Currently, PHE has not identified any significant new evidence that would make the Department change its view that the potential risks to public health from exposure to emissions associated with shale gas extraction will be low if operations are properly run and regulated. This means that good on-site management and appropriate regulation of all aspects from exploratory drilling, gas capture, use and storage of fracking fluid, and post-operations decommissioning are essential to minimise the risk to the environment and public health. If significant new evidence emerged this would be discussed with the Department of Health and other Government departments.

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