Oil field workers and people in nearby communities may face a grave threat
to their health from different kinds of pollutants.
The type of pollution we typically hear about from oil fields involves
water and soil contaminants. Oil spills, leaks, and improper disposal
of chemicals are among the sources of pollution people fear most.
What's less commonly known is that oil field activity can result in
toxic levels of air pollution, increasing the risk of various health problems
for workers and nearby residents.
Alarming levels of air pollution in the Bakken Oil Field
The Bakken Oil Field, located both in Montana and North Dakota, is emitting
high levels of air pollution. A
recent study conducted by the University of Michigan shows that the Bakken Oil Field
is responsible, by itself, for about two percent of the ethane gas found
in our planet's atmosphere. For one oil field, this is a huge concentration
of ethane. The release of so much ethane can significantly reduce air
quality and contribute to climate changes.
Ethane is hardly the only air pollutant released from oil and gas fields.
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit concerned
with environmental degradation, published a
2014 report on "fracking fumes." The report highlights some of the research
conducted so far that shows links between oil field air pollutants and
a variety of short-term and long-term health problems. These include serious
respiratory illnesses and nervous system disorders.
The types of
personal injuries that oil field workers sustain are not limited to bodily harm from malfunctioning
equipment and dangerous work tasks. Workers can also suffer costly health
problems from regular exposure to high levels of pollutants. If you're
suffering medical problems potentially associated with oil field pollution, please
contact us for legal advice and assistance.