As the number of gas wells in a community increase, so do hospitalization rates. Drilling and fracking operations are correlated with elevated motor vehicle fatalities (Texas), self-reported skin and respiratory problems (southwestern Pennsylvania), ambulance runs and emergency room visits (North Dakota), infant deaths (Utah), birth defects (Colorado), and low birthweight (southwestern Pennsylvania).
Occupational health, safety hazards, and accidents. Hydraulic fracturing is dangerous work. Workplace hazards include head injuries, traffic accidents, blunt trauma, burns, toxic chemical exposures, heat exhaustion, dehydration, and sleep deprivation. The fatality rate for oil and gas industry workers is 2.5 times higher than the construction industry and seven times that of general industry. Yet despite these serious occupational hazards, many oil and gas field workers are uninsured or underinsured and lack access to basic medical care.
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