Analysis of scientific papers is damming against unconventional gas development!

Dr Jake Hays and Dr Seth Shonkoff reviewed the current scientific papers on shale gas between 2009 and 2015.

This assessment was conducted using the PSE (Physicians, Scientists and Engineers) Database on Shale and Tight Gas Development which is available at:

Over 685 papers on the impacts of unconventional gas development have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 2009 – 2015.  These have been grouped into topics relating to the gas development impacts such as air quality, climate, community, ecology, economics, general, health, regulation, seismicity, waste/fluids, water quality, and water usage.

Hays and Shonkoff looked at all these papers, choosing the ones that met their criteria – related to shale gas, new research etc.

papers chosen


Of the 61 publications in air quality, 46 met their criteria.

Of the 78 publications in health, 31 met their criteria.

Of the 114 publications in water quality, 58 met their criteria.

Hays and Shonkoff say “Our results indicate that 84% of public health studies contain findings that that indicate public health hazards, elevated risks, or adverse health outcomes.   69% of water quality studies contain findings that indicate potential, positive association, or actual incidence of water contamination.   And 87% of air quality studies contain findings that indicate elevated air pollutant emissions and/or atmospheric concentrations.”

Read the full study here.

Number of unconventional gas publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals on the increase.

At least 685 papers relevant to unconventional gas impacts have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  At the end of 2015, over 80% of the peer reviewed scientific literature on shale and tight gas development has been published since January 1, 2013 and over 60% since January 1, 2014.

At least 226 have been published in 2015 alone.

Dr Jake Hays and Seth Shonkoff say  “This suggests an emerging understanding of the environmental and public health implications of UNGD in the scientific community”.

Figure 1 shows the number of publications that assess the impacts of unconventional gas development per year, 2009 – 2015. The number has continually risen.

number of papers written

Citation: Hays J, Shonkoff SBC (2016) Toward an Understanding of the Environmental and Public Health impacts of unconventional natural gas development : A categorical assessment of the Peer-reviewed Scientific Literature, 2009 – 2015. PLOS ONE 11(4): e0154164. doi: 10.1371/journal pone. 0154164

UK Chief Scientist New Report Released – warns against fracking

The Guardian UK

Fracking risk compared to thalidomide and asbestos in Walport report

Historic innovations that have been adopted too hastily with grave unforeseen impacts provide cautionary examples for potential side effects of fracking, says report by government’s chief scientist Mark Walport.

Fracking carries potential risks on a par with those from thalidomide, tobacco and asbestos, warns a report produced by the government’s chief scientific adviser.