There are considerable concerns around the health impacts of coal seam gas mining.
Extensive research has been carried out by Doctors For The Environment Australia (DEA), and in particular, the DEA submission to the Rural Affairs and Transport References Committee Inquiry provides detailed concerns on CSG mining, including the following summary points:
- Coal seam gas mining may have adverse impacts on human health by contamination of drinking and agricultural-use water, and air.
- Contaminants of concern include many of the chemicals used for fracking, as well as toxic substances produced through this process and mobilised from the sedimentary regions drilled. Some of these compounds can produce short-term health effects and some may contribute to systemic illness and/or cancer many years later.
- The public health consideration of these matters has been inadequate; leaving the population exposed to potential health hazards.
- Publicly available information on the chemicals used for this purpose in Australia is inadequate, as is their assessment and regulation.
- Evidence from several countries has shown that environmental exposures are occurring which may put people at risk, and these concerns have led to moratoria on further mining operations.