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date: 31 July 2021

A Historical Perspective of Unconventional Oil and Gas Extraction and Public Healthlocked

A Historical Perspective of Unconventional Oil and Gas Extraction and Public Healthlocked

  • Erin N. Haynes, Erin N. HaynesUniversity of Cincinnati Medical Center, Department of Environmental Health
  • Lisa McKenzie, Lisa McKenzieUniversity of Colorado, Colorado School of Public Health, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Stephanie A. MalinStephanie A. MalinColorado State University, Department of Sociology; Colorado School of Public Health
  •  and John W. CherrieJohn W. CherrieInstitute of Occupational Medicine and Heriot-Watt University


Technological advances in directional well drilling and hydraulic fracturing have enabled extraction of oil and gas from once unobtainable geological formations. These unconventional oil and gas extraction (UOGE) techniques have positioned the United States as the fastest-growing oil and gas producer in the world. The onset of UOGE as a viable subsurface energy abstraction technology has also led to the rise of public concern about its potential health impacts on workers and communities, both in the United States and other countries where the technology is being developed. Herein we review in the national and global impact of UOGE from a historical perspective of occupational and public health. Also discussed are the sociological interactions between scientific knowledge, social media, and citizen action groups, which have brought wider attention to the potential public health implications of UOGE.


  • Environment and Human Health

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