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13th June 2016
EDITOR
....Continued from Part 1

Tresidder said that he knows at least two dozen people who suffered health problems they attribute to nearby fracking operations. Their symptoms ranged from hair loss to third-degree skin burns.

Tresidder wrote hundreds of letters to politicians, regulators, and public health authorities but to no avail, he said.

He described the AER report as a ''childish brush-over to fool people… there were no medical citations. It was embarrassing to read.''

After sitting for three years on the Cochrane (Lochend) Air Quality Technical Working Group chaired by Alberta Health Services, Tresidder said he resigned last year when the group failed to do anything.

''I was so disappointed. 'Why are you ignoring all of the medical studies on fracking?' I asked them. They said, 'We'll look into them,' but they never did.''

The Alberta Health Service said it provided data to local residents as well as information on how to access services.

According to Heather Kipling, a senior communications advisor with AHS, local complaints were ''consistent with the health effects associated with air pollution contaminants,'' but that studies ''conducted thus far are inconclusive to be able to attribute the illnesses to oil and gas development.''

The AHS added that there might be a ''potential future role for Health Impact Assessments as part of the approval process for significant industrial development to more accurately identify and assess potential health risks.''

Dan Thomas, a retired oil and gas engineer who also lives in the Lochend area, described the fracking boom that overwhelmed the community as ''chaos.''

He asked the regulator to do a risk assessment on high-volume horizontal drilling but said the regulator ''couldn't even acknowledge or understand the problem.''

''The absence of a precautionary principle is atrocious,'' he said. He, too, supports the Hawkwoods' call for a moratorium.

''Let's stop this until we can put an appropriate process in place with a real risk assessment. Fracking is fraught with all kinds of issues and we have to assess the risk properly.''

Prevent Cancer Now, a Canadian civil society organization comprised of scientists and health professionals, recently noted that ''the AER has no jurisdiction for human health, and Alberta is famed for a chill against the medical community linking ill health to petrochemicals.'' [Tyee]

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