A group called Concerned Health Professionals of New York has released a brand new Compendium of scientific and medical research with regard to the hazards and risks related to fracking. Essentially, everything that is known about fracking is now all in one place. They hope that the completeness and the easy organization of the information will make the information more readily available to public officials, reporters and the general public.
Among some of the subjects covered by the new Compendium include:
- Water contamination – According to a wide range of available research, fracking and drilling pose an inherent threat to groundwater supplies. Based on the evidence, groundwater contamination is more likely to occur in areas close to fracking and drilling sites than elsewhere. Add to that the prospect of spills and well blowouts, and there is a serious problem. The number of cases of surface water contamination near fracking sites has also grown steadily in recent years.
- Engineering problems – A large number of studies demonstrate that oil and gas wells leak routinely because of poor engineering practices, allowing large amounts of hazardous chemicals and other substances to contaminate both water supplies and the atmosphere. Among the known risks posed by such leaks include losses of property and health, including many long-term chronic health problems. More troubling is the fact that the oil and gas industry seems to have no idea how to solve the leakage problem.
- Occupational health and safety – There is little doubt that jobs in the fracking industry are dangerous, and the research in this Compendium strongly supports that. Oil and gas workers are seven times more likely to die on the job as the working population as a whole. Among the most common hazards suffered by fracking workers, besides the usual head injuries and traffic accidents, include toxic chemical exposures and burns, silicosis from breathing in silica dust as part of the fracking process and even lung cancer.
- Agriculture – According to the research, fracking and drilling activity pose serious risks to agriculture, including both plants and livestock. Numerous studies have uncovered livestock deaths, neurological problems, stillbirths and aborted pregnancies cattle and goats, when they came in contact with fracking wastewater. In addition, the water and air contamination caused by fracking activity has a negative effect on soil quality. In some cases, the problem is with perception, causing organic farmers to suffer, just by having a fracking site nearby.
- Threats to property values and mortgages – The arrival of fracking and drilling operations have brought great wealth to some communities, but there has been a downside, as well, including increased crime rates, more distracted or drunk driving incidents. But according to the information in the compendium, such operations threaten property values and play havoc with mortgages and property insurance because of the introduction of risks triggered by the introduction of hazardous materials in the communities
With the upsurge in fracking activity, a lot of important questions have to be answered, and research like this one helps a lot. The hazards associated with fracking have to be taken more seriously, not just in Texas, but everywhere. If you live near a fracking site in Texas, and either you or someone in your household has become sick and you believe the illness may be related to exposure to toxic chemicals released by fracking activity, please contact the Texas Oil & Gas Industry Injury Lawyer at Hill Law Firm for a free consultation as soon as possible to protect your rights.