The Human and Environmental Impact of Fracking
How Fracturing Shale for Gas Affects Us and Our World
by Madelon L. Finkel, Editor
March 2015, 237pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3259-8
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3260-4
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Fracking’s environmental, health, social, and economic impacts are huge.

Fracking for gas trapped in shale could be a game changer in the quest to find alternatives to dirty fossil fuels, but it also has potential for harm. This book provides 'one-stop shopping' for everyone who wants to know more about the issues.

Oil and gas account for a large percentage of the world’s energy consumption, and the search for new ways to extract both from the earth is a global quest. Fracking is viewed as an energy game-changer but is a controversial topic about which there is much misunderstanding. This unbiased work was written to bring clarity to the issues. Under the guidance of an internationally recognized public health expert, this book provides a comprehensive look at unconventional natural gas development from many different perspectives.

Written for the layperson, the book dispels myths surrounding fracking, corrects misconceptions, and offers impartial, scientifically based information on both benefits and challenges. Readers will learn about the effects fracking has on the environment—our water, air, and climate—as well as on human and animal health. The contributors also look at the economics of fracking and at its socioeconomic impact on local communities and nations. They discuss legal and ethical issues related to the practice and, in keeping with the intent to provide a fair and balanced overview, share the industry perspective as well.


  • Offers a comprehensive, impartial understanding of unconventional natural gas development from many different perspectives by experts in the field
  • Draws from the findings of the most up-to-date research and discusses areas where scientific findings are yet unclear
  • Addresses fracking's potential effects on humans, animals, and environmental factors including air quality, water quality, and climate change
  • Explains the economic, legal, regulatory, and ethical issues surrounding fracking
  • Examines social and community issues and the industry perspective
Madelon L. Finkel, PhD, is professor of f health care policy and research and director of the Office of Global Health Education at the Weill Cornell Medical College. Finkel is an epidemiologist whose work focuses on women's health. Her interests also include global public health issues with ongoing research projects in rural India and Peru. Her published works include Praeger's Understanding the Mammography Controversy: Science, Politics, and Breast Cancer Screening and Truth, Lies, and Public Health: How We Are Affected When Science and Politics Collide. She is editor of Praeger's three-volume Public Health in the 21st Century.


"[E]ach chapter is well written and indexed, often insightful, and full of recent citations drawing on the rapidly growing literature in the field. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, lower- and upper-level undergraduates, graduate students, researchers/faculty, and professionals/practitioners."—Choice, August 18, 2015
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