The Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking and Associated Gas and Oil Infrastructure (the Compendium) is a fully referenced compilation of evidence, spanning many scientific and social scientific fields, documenting continuing and increasing impacts on health and environment.
The risks and harms of fracking for public health, the climate, and environmental justice are real and growing. Many early warnings in our previous editions have been borne out. The growing and substantial body of research reveals fundamental problems with the entire life cycle of operations associated with fracking and its infrastructure.
For this eighth 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; reports from, or commissioned by, government agencies; and, when they provide otherwise inaccessible data, advocacy organizations. Our entries briefly describe these studies and reports that document harm, or risk of harm, linked with fracking and associated oil and gas infrastructure, and summarize the principal findings. The studies and investigations referenced in the Compendium’s dated entries in the “Compilation of Studies & Findings” (the main body) are current through July 15, 2021 and are organized by seventeen topic areas. The “Front Matter” contains a range of other information, including a Summary of Findings, historical, political, cultural, and economic contexts and updates, late-breaking publications, and the sixteen trends we identified—strong patterns within and across our topic areas.
Our examination uncovered no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health directly or without imperiling climate stability upon which human health depends.
The body of evidence related to the risks and harms of fracking continues to expand, and the policy decisions made today will have impacts in need of elucidation. 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, used and referenced all over the world. A Spanish translation is currently available through the sixth edition at https://concernedhealthny.org/spanish-editions/ .