Gas companies need to come clean about fracking health risks

While the Pennsylvania law cited in your article "Doctors question fracking law" (April 20) "compels natural gas firms to turn over information about chemicals they use ... to health care professionals who ask," there seems nothing in it that would stop gas companies from turning over this vital information voluntarily, and not demanding the professionals sign confidentiality agreements, as compelled disclosure does.

The requirement that health care researchers not disclose their findings is ridiculous, given that open reporting is a basic requirement of scientific research, and sharing health information is fundamental to any hope of public health.

What company profits would be so great as to demand that neighborhoods of children and adults suffer negative medical consequences so as not to interfere with the owners' enrichment? While we don't know that such damage has occurred, we certainly must find out because of the existing evidence that hints of it. If there is another cause of the skin cancers found, we should learn what it is.

Must we go continually bow to manufacturers who use risky procedures or make risky products, as we did for years with cigarette companies (among others) before we finally get honest answers to what is going on?

Nancy M. Henley, Cockeysville

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