Natural causes. That’s what all the death certificates stated as cause of death. But as the number of death certificates continued to mount, more and more questions were asked, and now the Wall Street Journal is reporting that perhaps the cause of death wasn’t natural after all.
For the last ten years, as the oil industry has shifted to fracking and other experimental forms of mining, the death toll has continued to rise. The companies continued to insist that it was nothing more than a statistical anomaly. But now a new culprit is being identified: hydrocarbons.
Hydrocarbons are very dangerous chemicals that can kill you in a variety of ways, including:
- Asphyxiation if too many hydrocarbons enter your lungs
- Blood poisoning from exposure
- Heart failure due to damage to your circulatory system
Asphyxiation and heart failure are common enough causes of death that medical examiners did not immediately pick up on the pattern. But as more and more workers died due to exposure, it became impossible to ignore the common thread.
Hydrocarbons are not the first dangerous chemical that workers have been unwittingly exposed to, and they won’t be the last. American history is littered with terrible stories of companies putting the health of their workers at risk to keep the profits high, then denying responsibility and refusing to pay for treatment. Asbestos is perhaps the most famous example.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed due to exposure to a dangerous work environment, please contact an attorney. As with hydrocarbon exposure, it can be difficult for authorities to even know there is a hazard until enough people speak up. A lawyer can help you get the proper information to the proper people as quickly as possible.