Multiple outlets are reporting that the Environmental Protection Agency withheld pertinent information regarding the health risks posed by fracking. Fracking (or hydraulic fracturing) uses high-pressure fluids to break the earth open and provide access to oil or other precious materials. The technique has been controversial for years, both for its negative impact on the environment and for potential safety concerns regarding the chemicals utilized.
Fracking poses a variety of health risks that have been long identified, including respiratory damage due to exposure to air contamination. These new reports are particularly focused on the risk fracking poses to drinking water. Whenever high pressure is used to force fluids into the ground, there is a risk of the fluids traveling farther than intended. This can lead to chemicals ending up in groundwater, wells, and rivers.
Drinking water contaminated by the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing poses a variety of health risks, including:
- Brain damage caused by toxicity
- Risk of sepsis or other forms of blood poisoning
- Elevated cancer risks
As fracking has become more and more widespread, reports of contaminated wells and rivers have increased. In areas where hydraulic fracturing is common, more and more people have reported significant health problems. Studies are still being undertaken to determine the full range of diseases that might result.
The fracking industry is opposed to these tests and insists that their business does not pose health risks to surrounding communities. But these new reports on EPA cover-ups and other suppression of research make it difficult to put much faith in them.
If you or your family have suffered health problems and you believe fracking might have contributed to your illness, please consult with a lawyer. An experienced attorney can provide access to the experts you need to help you prove your case.