The loud noises produced by the fracking industry could cause sleep deprivation, stress and heart disease in surrounding communities, according to a study by public health experts. Energy companies want to frack for underground shale gas across a large part of central Scotland. But their plans have been stymied by a moratorium imposed by the Scottish Government for the last two years. This week Scottish ministers are expected to launch a long-awaited public consultation into fracking, with a decision due on its future before the end of the year. Campaigners are calling for a permanent ban, but the industry is pushing for a go-ahead. The study, conducted by universities and research institutes across the US, found that the noise levels from US fracking operations were high enough to cause annoyance and disturb sleep. The noise could also increase blood pressure, hypertension and heart disease, it said. Researchers pointed out that noise pollution was a well-documented public health hazard, linked to depression, diabetes and learning difficulties in children. “Policies and mitigation techniques that limit human exposure to noise from oil and gas operations should be considered to reduce health risks,” they concluded.
Sunday Herald 29th Jan 2017 read more »