Fracking site releases unsafe amount of cancer-causing benzene

Fracking site releases unsafe amount of cancer-causing benzene

The subject of fracking is met by strong opinions either for or against. While many believe it’s an excellent way to release natural gas, others feel it’s too dangerous and the consequences too severe.

Typical arguments against fracking claim it can pollute the water supply if the acidic mixture released into the ground leaks into any sources. Many lawsuits cite both property and health damages as a result.

For a town in Texas, the controversial gas drilling technique may put the residents at risk for cancer.

The Denton Drilling Awareness Group (DAG) is fighting to remove fracking in the area, and last week found parts of the city near the gas wells with increased levels of benzene and other chemicals.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) limits long-term asbestos exposure to 4.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air, and DAG found samples two points higher.

Benzene causes dizziness, headaches, vomiting and skin, mouth and throat irritation, among other side effects. After long-term exposure, benzene is a carcinogen that leads to leukemia.

After the initial report was released, a different group in the area referenced TCEQ findings from closer to the well with benzene levels below the state standard, although no testing equipment is located where DAG completed their analysis.

Without more consistent air testing, it’s difficult to narrow down exactly what caused the spike and if it’s an issue to be fixed. Either way, it’s important to understand the risks and take the necessary precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe.

If you or someone you know developed leukemia after exposure to benzene or your health or property was compromised by fracking near your home, let us know. We want to help.

 

Reference
Allen, J. (2014). Is north Texas gas well putting cancer-causing chemicals in the air? CBS DFW. [Link]
CDC. (2014).Facts about benzene. Emergency Preparedness and Response. [Link]
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