Studies point to impacts from unconventional gas developments on human health, air and water

IN 2016 Hays & Shonkoff undertook a major literature review of the studies on unconventional gas and human health between 2009 and 2015.

They found that at least 685 papers had been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals on the impacts of unconventional gas developments.

Of these 84% of the public health studies contained findings that indicated public health hazards, elevated risks, or adverse health outcomes.

In terms of the studies on water quality they found that 69%  contained findings that indicated a potential, positive association, or actual incidence of water contamination.

They also found that 87% of the studies on air quality  contained findings that indicated elevated air pollutant emissions and/or atmospheric concentrations.

They concluded that “the weight of the findings in the scientific literature indicates hazards and elevated risks to human health as well as possible adverse health outcomes associated with unconventional gas developments.”

You can check out their landmark review here:


Toward an Understanding of the Environmental and Public Health Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Development