Air pollution. Studies have documented that drilling and fracking operations release air pollutants that pose serious health hazards. In addition, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released during drilling mix with nitrogen oxides to form ground-level ozone (smog). Exposure to ozone can cause irreversible lung damage and significantly increase the chance of premature death due to respiratory causes. In addition to high levels of ozone, areas with substantial drilling and fracking activities show striking declines in air quality, and, in several cases, increased rates of health problems with known links to air pollution. Kern County, where the majority of the state's fracking is located, has been rated by the American Lung Association as having the third worst air pollution in the United States and Los Angeles already ranks #1 in the nation for ozone exposure.
Noise pollution, light pollution and stress. Drilling and fracking operations expose workers and nearby residents to sustained periods of noise and light pollution lasting many months. Fracking-related noise pollution results from blasting, drilling, flaring, generators, compressor stations and truck traffic. Homes, schools and workplaces located in close proximity to well sites expose residents and employees to stress and anxiety from drilling-related noise.
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