Letter David Lowry: The latest “community support” offer from the Treasury for those areas having fracking rigs installed is truly a Russian roulette gamble for local people. An article in the Washington Post on 10 April last year, headlined “Rise of deadly radon gas in Pennsylvania buildings linked to fracking industry”, reported on a detailed study in the journal Environmental Health Perspective that revealed a “disturbing correlation” between unusually high levels of radon gas in mostly residences and fracking that has become the industry standard over the past decade. Moreover, this is what Public Health England (the health watchdog) stated in October 2013: “If the natural gas delivery point were to be close to the extraction point with a short transit time, radon present in the natural gas would have little time to decay … there is therefore the potential for radon gas to be present in natural gas extracted from UK shale.” This health trade-off for money is what this offer really asks residents to accept. In light of this clear precautionary approach, it is odd that all ministers seem to be uncritically cheerleading for expanded fracking, despite its possible radon risk.
Guardian 10th Aug 2016 read more »