Books like The Real Cost of Fracking focus on the ways that fracking affects the environment and the health of those who live near fracking sites. However, residents are exposed to only a small percentage of the chemicals, air pollutants, and radiation that fracking workers use on a daily basis. Unfortunately, workers are told very little about the potential health associated with the chemicals they work with. In some cases, the health risks are simply not known.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is involved in a long term study of the health risks that workers face at fracking sites. Preliminary results have focused on silicosis caused by exposure to fracking sand and worker exposure to benzene during flowback operations. Both studies found potential for both short and long term health problems.
Randy Moyer is a Pennsylvania fracking worker who has conducted several interviews about the effects that his job has had on his health. Moyer was a truck driver until gas prices made it too expensive for him to operate his own rig. He took a job with a hydraulic fracturing subcontractor in northeastern Pennsylvania. He performed various tasks for the subcontractor, including hauling fracking fluid, water, and waste. He also cleaned the mats laid out near wells to provide a flat surface for trucks.
These mats are often coated with drilling mud, a viscous fluid that is used as a lubricant when drilling shale. Moyer was not told that the mud contained a variety of toxic and radioactive chemicals.
After cleaning mud off the mats, Moyer suffered excruciating pain and redness in his feet. The rash spread up to his torso and face. Two years later, he still experiences skin inflammation. He has been to the emergency room several times. Moyers also suffers from migraine headaches, chest pain, vertigo, memory loss, blurred vision, breathing problem, pains in his back and legs, and noise in his ears. Doctors have not found a medical cause for his symptoms.
Moyer isn’t the only worker experiencing these problems. GasVets.org is a site for oil and gas workers who have been harmed at work. Despite hundreds of stories, states are hesitant to regulate fracking companies.
The oil companies insist that fracking is safe, but workers know otherwise. If you a fracking worker who is suffering unexplained symptoms, our attorneys like to hear your story. We may not be able to help you now, but we can advise you of your legal rights and tell you how to document your symptoms for the future. To learn more, call Fracking Injury Law at 855-880-6667. There is no charge for the consultation.