Expert visits Holyrood to highlight risks of ‘fracking’

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AN internationally acclaimed toxins experts is visiting Scotland next week to highlight the risks of unconventional gas extraction techniques such as “fracking”.

Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, a senior advisor to the Australian National Toxics Network, will speak at an event at the Scottish Parliament organised by Friends of the Earth.

Green campaigners claim the controversial technique, which involves drilling down and creating tiny explosions to shatter and crack shale rocks to release gas, can release cancer-causing chemicals, contaminate drinking water supplies and release harmful methane gases.

Parts of Midlothian and East and West Lothian, which are rich in shale deposits, face being put out to tender for fracking later this year by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change.

A policy advisor on chemicals and waste management, Dr Lloyd-Smith has served on the UN Expert Group on Climate Change and Chemicals and the Technical Advisory Group of Australia’s industrial chemical regulator.