Environmental Think Tank Details ‘Impact Pathway’ That’s Largely Absent in Fracking Health Research

Environmental think tank Resources for the Future (RFF) recently released six issues briefs on hydraulic fracturing that summarize RFF Senior Research Associate Daniel Raimi’s book “The Fracking Debate.” These briefs tackle a wide range of topics, including climate change, health, earthquakes, water quality, local governments and the economy.

Notably, the public health brief details a five-step “impact pathway” that “ideally” would be used by researchers to “measure each link in the causal chain that could potentially lead to health impacts from oil and gas development…” This “impact pathway” offers a step-by-step process for analyzing research related to fracking and health:

As RFF communicates in both the issues briefs and a recent webinar, the current body of research on fracking and public health largely consists of researchers identifying just two of these steps – activities and impacts – and failing to address the burdens, concentrations and exposure.

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