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Docs call for NYS fracking moratorium

Researchers and medical professionals from around the state gathered in Albany Thursday to urge acting Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to impose a 3 to 5 year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York.

Physicians, nurses, peer-reviewed researchers and public health professionals are all part of the coalition pushing for a thorough analysis of the health and societal impacts of fracking.

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Reported by

Jenna Flanagan
Reporter, The Innovation Trail

Physicians, nurses, peer-reviewed researchers and public health professionals are all part of the coalition pushing for a thorough analysis of the health and societal impacts of fracking.

Dr. Kathy Nolan of Concerned Health Professionals of New York says there’s been an increase in fracking health literature in specialist journals, but the medical community is only just beginning to understand the impact of the drilling process.

“These new studies command attention because of several features. They’re appearing in peer review publications providing an indication of the professional merit and the integrity of the research. They report results that are accumulating over time as evidence grows and once imperceptible impacts manifest and become better studied.”

Medical professionals in other states where fracking is already occurring are investigating the correlation between drilling activity and health conditions like persistent hacking cough, nosebleeds, memory loss and certain types of cancer.

The signatories to the letter presented to Cuomo administration, believe more of these studies will surface in the coming years and will help the state get a better understanding of the real risks.

The previous Health Commissioner Dr Nirav Shah recently resigned. He began a health review of fracking in September 2012, which is ongoing.

Jenna Flanagan reports for the Innovation Trial.

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