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Doctors and Scientists Present Gov. Cuomo with Fracking Science Digest
A compilation of independent scientific studies and reports related to the health impacts of hydrofracking was presented to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today by a representative of a delegation of medical doctors and scientists.
In a cover letter, the experts have requested a meeting with the Governor to discuss his desire for "the facts and logic and science and information," which he says will be the basis for his decision on the controversial gas drilling technique. The 275-page digest, culled from tens of thousands of pages of scientific findings, was prepared expressly for the Governor by Grassroots Environmental Education.
"The Governor cannot possibly make an informed decision on one of the most important public health issues of our lifetime based solely on industry-sponsored science, or agency reports that do not include any analysis of the public health impacts of hydro-fracking, particularly on the most vulnerable, which includes our children," says Dr. Ronald Bishop, professor of biochemistry at SUNY/Oneonta and author of two of the eighteen studies included in the digest.
"We don't have all the answers we'd like yet," says Patti Wood, executive director of Grassroots and Visiting Scholar at Adelphi University who helped compile the digest. "But with these studies we can say with certainty that fracking will directly impact the health of everyone living in areas where drilling occurs and potentially contaminate vital air and water resources for millions of people living across the state."
The digest, which contains a number of peer-reviewed studies that were published after the Department of Environmental Conservation's comment period officially closed in January, is designed to balance studies sponsored by the gas industry, as well as DEC-commissioned reports that did not include consideration of human health impacts, especially those affecting the most vulnerable populations.
"Without rigorous independent scientific studies, the gas drilling boom sweeping the world will remain an uncontrolled health experiment on an enormous scale," said Dr. Michelle Bamberger and Dr. Robert Oswald, co-authors of another study which analyzed the impacts of gas drilling on the health of animals and humans.
"We recommend that New York State fully examine the scientific evidence and potential risks presented by hydrofracking and make decisions that protect the health of generations of New York children and the environment they will inherit," said Dr. Maida Galvez, vice president of District II Chapter 3 of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
"We know now that children may have genetic vulnerabilities for such conditions as autism, brain cancers and other chronic diseases, but that environmental insults can trigger the onset or progression, "says pediatric neurologist Dr Maya Shetreat-Klein, assistant clinical professor of Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "It is imperative that the Governor review the scientific evidence outlining the toxic impact of fracking on children, pregnant women and others."
An index to the digest and links to all the studies are located on Grassroots Environmental Education's web site.
Grassroots Environmental Education is an EPA award-winning 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with offices in Port Washington and Rye, New York. The organization's mission is to bridge the gap between scientific research and public understanding by educating the public about the links between common environmental exposures and human health, and empowering individuals to act as catalysts for change within their own communities.
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