Study: Hydrofracking releases carcinogens into the air around drill sites

On behalf of Rock Palermo of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC posted in Oil and Gas on March 28, 2012.

By now, most Lake Charles readers who've stopped by this blog even occasionally can recite quite a list of the drawbacks of hydrofracking: it caused earthquakes in Ohio; pollutes local water supplies; results in land contamination and often leaves landowners frustrated, angry and upset with the way they have been treated by oil and gas companies.

Now, it seems that there is another problem with hydrofracking. A recent study has found that it tends to increase air pollution around drilling sites, especially pollution by dangerous chemicals like benzene.

The problem is that when the water-chemical mixture is injected into the ground so it can break up the deposits locking in oil and gas, it also breaks open naturally occurring pockets of gaseous pollutants that would otherwise have remained sealed. This is pretty serious because some of these pollutants are very dangerous to humans (even though, as we pointed out, they are naturally occurring). Benzene, for example, is known to cause cancer and is believed to contribute to certain reproductive health problems.

The study was performed by the Colorado School of Public Health. Besides benzene, it found that worrisome amounts of xylene, toluene and ethylbenzene were released by hydrofracking. Altogether, these pollutants can cause people who are exposed to them for significant period of time to experience headaches, dizziness, nausea and eye irritation. If exposure is too great or too long-lasting, a person can develop leukemia, asthma-like symptoms or even myeloma.

So, as we said earlier in this post, it seems we have another entry to add to the list of things that are wrong about hydrofracking.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, "Study: 'Fracking' may increase air pollution health risks," Neela Banerjee, March 26, 2012

Tags: Oil and Gas

Super Lawyers Veron Bice Palermo & Wilson LLC | Best Lawyers | 2015 Louisiana Alliance for Property & Water Rights Bar Register preeminent lawyers 2011 Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum 10 Best 2016 | Client Staisfaction | American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys Best Law Firm 2016 AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS || 10 BEST LAW FIRMS || 2016 CLIENT SATISFACTION AWARD