Field studies conducted by the U.S. Government have revealed that hydrofracking fluids are responsible for the deaths of four field workers since 2010.
The report, recently released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety, suggests that workers could be exposed to hazardous levels of toxic volatile hydrocarbons found in waste fracking fluids.
“According to our information, at least four workers have died since 2010 from what appears to be acute chemical exposures during flow back operations at well sites in the Williston Basin (North Dakota and Montana),” government researchers wrote. “While not all of these investigations are complete, available information suggests that these cases involved workers who were gauging flow back or production tanks or involved in transferring flow back fluids at the well site.”
The institute is also assessing worker exposure to other chemicals mixed into fluids that are injected into the earth during fracking. Those findings will be detailed in later publications, according to Max Kiefer, a NIOSH spokesperson.