Hydraulic Fracking Chemical Exposure & Fracking Contamination Lawsuits


Several toxic chemicals are used every day on fracking sites, though employees who work closely with the substances may not be entirely aware of the health risks the toxins present. Employers have a duty to warn workers of the risks and provide them with proper protective equipment and safety protocols. Fracking companies have failed in the past to take responsibility for unsafe workplaces, and employee cancer rates reflect their negligence.

Benzene, for example, is a common dangerous toxin used in the fracking process, known to cause cancer. Many recent studies link Benzene exposure to forms of cancer like Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) now classifies Benzene as a top-priority human carcinogen.

Large quantities of silica sand are also used during hydraulic fracturing and are a serious health hazard to workers. Oil and gas companies continue to use toxins at worksites, despite studies that indicate the dangers.

Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio Toxic Tort and Catastrophic Injury Attorney, representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of fracking contamination lawsuits and workplace injury claims. 


Frac Sand Composed of Toxic Chemicals

Benzene and Silica are only two of the toxic substances found regularly on fracking sites. There are several others. The fracturing fluid injected into the ground at oil and gas sites may consist of dangerous chemical additives, gels, foams, and compressed gases.

A common fracturing fluid blend may contain water, sand, other proppants, and up to a dozen or more toxic chemical additives. Some drilling sites rely on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and propane, which present certain dangers to workers as well. In addition to being a fire hazards, LPG can cause cold burns to the skin and it can act as an asphyxiant at high concentrations.

If not properly controlled, frac sand can cause lung cancer, silicosis and other fatal illnesses in exposed workers. Benzene exposure is linked to Acute Myeloid Leukemia and other cancers. Other fracking chemicals used at worksites include:

  • Polyacrylamide
  • Methanol
  • Ammonium persulfate
  • Radon
  • Methylene chloride
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Methane
  • Benzene
  • Toluene
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Ethylene glycol
  • 2-butoxyethanol
  • Acetic acid
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Borate Salts
  • Glutaraldehyde
  • Isopropanol
  • Guar Gum
  • Aluminium Phosphate-Ester Oil

Silica Exposure & Fracking Contamination

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has published studies that show fracking workers are likely exposed to high levels of silica in the dust surrounding work sites, which may lead to permanent lung damage and lung cancer.

The fracking process endangers workers when sand is delivered and loaded into sand movers, transferred by conveyor belts and blended with other frac fluids prior to injection. Transporting and moving silica sand by movers and transfer belts can release dusts containing silica into the air and exposing workers if they breathe the dust into their lungs.

ohio fracking pollution

NIOSH has identified the primary sources of silica dust exposure during fracking operations:

  • Dust ejected from access ports on top of the sand movers during refilling operations while the machines are running
  • Dust ejected through open side fill ports on the sand movers
  • Dust generated by on-site vehicle traffic
  • Dust released from the transfer belt
  • Dust created as sand drops into blender hoppers
  • Dust released between the sand mover and the blender
  • Dust released from top of the end of a sand transfer belt

Occupational Chemical Exposure

  • Drillers
  • Assistant drillers
  • Floor hands
  • Pump operators
  • Pipefitters
  • Maintenance staff
  • Painters
  • Machine operators
  • Lease hands
  • Derrick hands
  • Motor hands
  • Roughnecks
  • Crane and truck drivers
  • Foremen
  • Well testers
  • Field Engineers

Fracking Contamination Linked to Illness

Oil and gas companies responsible for serious occupational risks have downplayed the toxic nature of fracking worksites. Workers are at a heightened risk for developing lung cancer and other illnesses. Common diseases linked to fracking chemicals and industry employment may include:

If you have suffered an illness following Toxic Exposure at a fracking work site, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding fracking contamination.