ALLOWING fracking in Scotland could pose “serious risks” to the health of workers, according to a new analysis by campaigners. Over 150 studies have linked fracking chemicals to health problems, they say. US experts warn that silica dust from the fracking industry can cause permanent lung damage. More than 40,000 objections to introducing fracking are expected to be lodged with the Scottish Government before its public consultation comes to an end on May 31. Ministers say they will decide whether or not to ban the industry before the end of the year. Fracking involves pumping fluids down boreholes to hydraulically fracture rocks deep underground to release tiny pockets of shale gas. The gas can be used to heat homes or to make plastics. The petrochemical giant, Ineos, imports gas from US fracking fields to its complex at Grangemouth. The company is also bidding to fr ack large areas of central Scotland and the north of England and has recently being buying up major parts of the North Sea oil industry. The UK government backs fracking in England but the Scottish Government has had a moratorium on the industry since January 2015. The Scottish Parliament voted narrowly in favour of banning fracking in June 2016. New research from the digital campaign group 38 Degrees says that fracking workers can be exposed to toxic chemicals. One is benzene, which the American Cancer Society links to leukaemia.
Sunday Herald 28th May 2017 read more »