Doctors’ leaders across region demand assessment of health risks from fracking

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GP LEADERS in Yorkshire are recommending an assessment should be carried out on the potential health risks posed to local people from fracking.

Officials at the NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group say checks should be carried out before exploration for shale gas in Ryedale begins.

The area is one of a number in the region being targeted by energy firms including plans for work at Kirby Misperton, near Malton, which would be one of the first in the country if it went ahead in the face of huge opposition.

Fracking involves the use of chemicals, sand and water forced at high pressure through rock formations deep underground to free trapped pockets of gas, but concerns have been raised in reports from Public Health England and others about the potential risks to health and the environment.

In a statement agreed by the group’s board, it said there remains “considerable uncertainty as to the scale of health risks” of fracking.

It did not believe there was sufficient evidence to conclude fracking in the area “necessarily poses low risks to the health of the local community”.

In the statement, they recommend a full health impact assessment be carried out of any proposals before a decision is made ahead of shale gas exploration in Ryedale.