What is fracking?


The Nobel Peace Prize-winning international organisation of doctors, Physicians for Social Responsibility, defines fracking:

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, is a natural gas extraction process that is proving to have negative consequences for human health and for climate change. Fracking for natural gas extraction creates potentially harmful health effects along its entire life cycle: the hydraulic fracturing technique itself, as well as associated processes including road building, pad clearing, truck trips, drilling, cementing, flowback waters, offgassing, fugitive emissions, compressors, and pipelines.

As many reports and studies detail, some of the greatest risks are:

  1. Air pollution
  2. Water contamination
  3. Inherent engineering problems that worsen with time
  4. Radioactive releases
  5. Occupational health and safety hazards
  6. Public Health effects
  7. Noise pollution, light pollution and stress
  8. Earthquakes and seismic activity
  9. Abandoned and active oil and natural gas wells (as pathways for gas and fluid migration)
  10. Flood risks
  11. Threats to agriculture and soil quality
  12. Threats to Climate system
  13. Threats from fracking infrastructure
  14. Inaccurate jobs claims, increased crime rates, threats to property value and mortgages and local government burden
  15. Inflated estimates of oils and gas reserves and profitability

Read more information in the Documentation section of our website for reports, environmental and health reviews, and studies about the risks, problems, and harms of fracking.