Shale Gas Development in the Central Karoo – Impacts on Human Health

Full Title:

Shale Gas Development in the Central Karoo: A Scientific Assessment of the Opportunities and Risks
Chapter 12: Impacts on Human Health

Author: Bettina Genthe
Contributing Authors: Ashton Maherry, Maronel Steyn, Andrea Rother, Leslie London, Mieke Willems
Publication: The CSIR led a large interdisciplinary team to analyse the potential impacts of shale gas mining on the Karoo.
Date: 2016


This Chapter of the scientific assessment focused on potential health impacts of four different shale gas development (SGD) scenarios. The status quo represents Scenario 0 (Reference Case), exploratory drilling representing Scenario 1 (Exploration Only), moderate drilling representing Scenario 2 (Small Gas), and lastly high gas production representing Scenario 3 (Big Gas). The scope of the study is to assess potential human health risks in the study area. International experience and scientific evidence was used to predict the potential health impacts. The following had to be done for the impact assessment: identify potential chemicals to be used, assess the potential health impacts of these chemicals, assess the potential population that could be exposed, and consider the potential pathways through which the population might be exposed.


This document, as well as the full CSIR report can be accessed at

Click here to download document