WASHINGTON – Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) applauded the first legislative proposal for a nationwide ban on fracking for natural gas and related operations, including extraction, processing, transport and export. The proposed bill, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), would greatly benefit health and the climate, the national physician-led organization stated.
In light of the bill’s announcement, PSR released the following comment:
“Physicians for Social Responsibility applauds the introduction of legislation for a comprehensive fracking ban. A nationwide fracking ban would be invaluable for human health,” said Barbara Gottlieb, Environment and Health Program Director, Physicians for Social Responsibility.
“Fracking harms human health, contaminates huge amounts of water, and pollutes the air. It exposes local communities to chemicals known to be toxic to humans and animals.
“Scientific studies have documented high levels of serious health impacts among people who live near active fracking sites. Studies have found that living near active fracking wells is associated with increased rates of hospitalization for cardiac, neurological, urological and cancer-related issues. Studies have also linked proximity to active fracking to premature birth, low birth weight and congenital heart defects.
“Recent investigations have even documented that fracking wastewater can be radioactive, especially in the Marcellus Shale. Yet we have seen fracking wastewater trucked through communities, used as irrigation water, and even spread as a de-icer on roads.
“It’s not only local communities who are at risk. All of us are endangered, because when fracked gas leaks into the atmosphere, it accelerates climate change. And gas leaks into the atmosphere at every step of the way, from the well sites to the processing equipment to the pipelines to the distribution lines that carry gas to our homes. Fracking is speeding up the climate change juggernaut even as we hurtle towards the cliff.
“PSR and our colleagues in Concerned Health Professionals of New York have highlighted the scientific evidence of fracking’s harm to health in the encyclopedic fracking science Compendium. Based on the evidence, PSR has supported a total ban on fracking for years and would welcome making that ban nationwide.”Print