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UK Medical Chiefs Call for Fracking Ban

© Flickr / Daniel Foster Natural Gas Well Fracking
Natural Gas Well Fracking - Sputnik International
A group of doctors and medical academics have called for a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the United Kingdom.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A group of 20 high-profile doctors and medical academics have called for a ban on hydraulic fracturing in the United Kingdom as it poses, as they say, an "inherent risk" to public and environmental health.

"The arguments against fracking on public health and ecological grounds are overwhelming. There are clear grounds for adopting the precautionary principle and prohibiting fracking," medical professionals said in a letter published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Monday.

The letter comes in support of a report by the health charity Medact, also released Monday, that recommends a UK-wide moratorium on fracking.

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The academics, including former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Clare Gerada, chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Helen Gordon and former deputy chief medical officer Dr Sheila Adam argue that heavy traffic, noise and odor as a result of fracking activity will damage densely populated UK towns and have negative effects on the local natural environment.

The group also underlines that shale gas extraction would undermine the UK's commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and would go against efforts by the international community to prevent global warming.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has been an enthusiastic supporter of fracking. In 2014, he rejected a call for a fracking ban saying that the US shale gas revolution could be replicated in the United Kingdom.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a method to extract shale gas and oil by injecting pressurized toxic liquid into the ground, which some organizations believe is dangerous for the environment.

Fracking supporters, however, claim that the procedure is a viable source of oil and natural gas and does little to no harm to the environment.

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