Research and analysis

Shale gas extraction: review of the potential public health impacts of exposures to chemical and radioactive pollutants (draft for comment)

This consultation (PHE-CRCE-002) examined literature and data from countries which already have commercial scale shale gas extraction operations. The final report was published as PHE-CRCE-009.


The current evidence indicates that the potential risks to public health from exposure to the emissions associated with shale gas extraction are low if the operations are properly run and regulated.

Where potential risks have been identified in the literature, the reported problems are typically a result of operational failure and a poor regulatory environment. Therefore good on-site management and appropriate regulation of all aspects from exploratory drilling, gas capture and the use and storage of fracking fluid is essential to minimise the risk to the environment and public health.

This report was originally published as a draft for comment. Please refer to PHE-CRCE-009 for the final report.