Doctors Demand Disclosure of Health Risks from Fracking, Pipelines
The American Medical Association is pushing for full disclosure of the chemicals that enter the environment due to natural gas fracking, and comprehensive health impact assessments for natural gas pipelines.
“Most states do not require drilling companies to publically disclose what chemicals are injected into the ground during hydraulic fracturing,” said AMA Board Member Dr. David Barbe. “The new AMA policy supports disclosure requirements to monitor any environmental exposure to fracking chemicals and advise or treat patients based on reliable information.”
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The resolution to the AMA’s House of Delegates did not oppose hydraulic fracturing, MD Magazine notes. “The delegates said government agencies should record and monitor the chemicals used in fracking, and collect data on potential human exposures and any contamination of well and surface water. Information about any such cases ought to be shared with physicians and the public, they said.”
The vote coincided with the release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s long-awaited study of fracking and drinking water.
The AMA committee that put forward the pipeline resolution, meanwhile, “cited concerns about aging or unsafe pipeline infrastructure, and said an assessment is necessary ‘to determine how improvements to the infrastructure can be encouraged and enforced,’” Kaltwasser writes. The committee said inconsistent pipeline oversight had permitted “differences in the integrity of the infrastructure,” leading to injuries and deaths.