More Than 250 Health Professionals and Researchers Say: Fracking Is Not Safe

Yesterday, a broad-based coalition of more than 250 medical organizations, health experts and researchers – mostly from New York State but some luminaries and fracking researchers from elsewhere as well – sent a letter to New York’s Governor Cuomo and new acting Department of Health commissioner, Dr. Zucker.

The letter lays out recent science and trends in the data on fracking and calls for a 3-5 year concrete moratorium. The national Physicians for Social Responsibility is among the signatories, as are the American Academy of Pediatrics District II, American Lung Association in NY, Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy, numerous breast cancer networks, many doctors and even some county health departments. Scientists from the Bioscience Resource Project, Dr. Allison K. Wilson and Jonathan R. Latham, are also signatories to the letter.

A final version, with signatures, is attached and available online: bit.ly/1kO3jFu. The letter is being used by colleagues internationally to point out the health hazards of hydro-fracking.  One request has come from environmental health colleagues in Europe for permission to translate the letter into German and distribute it as an annex to members of parliament.

Health Professionals and researchers may also wish to consider further communication on the issue of fracking with Dr. Zucker. New York’s new acting DOH commissioner, a native of the Bronx, has considerable experience as a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist, a background in critical care delivery, and has served in the World Health Organization.His medical biography can be found at: https://www.health.ny.gov/commissioner/bio/ and can be contacted at:
Acting Health Commissioner Howard A. Zucker
New York State Department of Health
Corning Tower
Empire State Plaza,
Albany, NY 12237

Press coverage of the letter has so far includes: Times Union: Health groups urge 3-5 gas frack ban by Cuomo;NYSNYS News: Hydrofracking opponents want 3- to 5-year moratorium; Innovation Trail (NPR affiliate): Doctors ask DOH for more time to study fracking; Gannett News: Fracking critics call for moratorium, more-inclusive process.

This news report and call to action came from Sandra Steingraber, on behalf of Concerned Health Professionals of New York. It can also be found on her facebook page. You are encouraged to share the letter or this report widely.

Sandra Steingraber PhD
Distinguished Scholar in Residence
Department of Environmental Studies and Science
Ithaca College