The Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking (the Compendium) is a fully referenced compilation of evidence outlining the risks and harms of fracking.
The Compendium is organized to be accessible to public officials, researchers, journalists, and the public. In addition, the Compendium is complemented by a fully searchable, near-exhaustive citation database of peer-reviewed journal articles pertaining to shale gas and oil extraction, the Repository for Oil and Gas Energy Research, that was developed by PSE Healthy Energy and which is housed on its website (https://www.psehealthyenergy.org/our-work/shale-gas-research-library/).
For this sixth edition of the Compendium, as prior ones, we compiled findings from three sources: articles from peer-reviewed medical or scientific journals; investigative reports by journalists; and reports from, or commissioned by, government agencies. Peer-reviewed articles were identified through databases such as PubMed and Web of Science, and from within the PSE Healthy Energy database. Our entries briefly describe studies that document harm, or risk of harm, associated with fracking and summarize the principal findings.
The studies and investigations referenced in the dated entries catalogued in Compilation of Studies & Findings are current through April 1, 2019.
In our review of the data, seventeen compelling themes emerged; these serve as the organizational structure of the Compendium. Readers will notice the ongoing upsurge in reported problems and health impacts, making each section top-heavy with recent data.
The Compendium focuses on topics most closely related to the public health and safety impacts of fracking. These include risks from fracking infrastructure, including compressor stations, pipelines, silica sand mining operations, natural gas storage facilities, the manufacture and transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and, for the first time, gas-fired power plants.
Fracking, a major source of two greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, is incompatible with climate solutions. Climate change is a public health crisis and receives our close attention in the sixth edition.
Given the rapidly expanding body of evidence related to the risks and harms of unconventional oil and gas extraction, we plan to continue updating the Compendium approximately every year. It is a living document, housed on the websites of Concerned Health Professionals of New York and Physicians for Social Responsibility. Read more about the process and scope of our work in the “About this Report” and the “Foreword to the Sixth Edition” sections of the Compendium.