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Unconventional oil and gas sites can cause severe personal injury

Residents in West Virginia may share the concerns of many about the fracking and other controversial methods of oil and gas development. In addition to water and air pollution, the environmental noise it produces poses a severe threat of personal injury. The contaminants that are polluting our water and air through these technologies have been associated with illnesses and conditions such as birth defects, cancer, and neurological and respiratory problems.

Many of the gas and oil drilling activities occur in proximity of residential areas, and communities are exposed to hazardous levels of noise for extended periods. It has been determined that the omnipresent noise levels in these communities adjacent to mining activities are higher than the prescribed safety thresholds. Residents who are exposed to continuous unsafe noise levels may suffer damage -- and eventual loss -- of hearing, along with sleep disturbance, cardiovascular problems, headaches and high blood pressure.

It is reported that the presence of high-level noise pollution during nighttime poses increased risks and that those most vulnerable include the elderly, children and chronically ill individuals. Scientific findings indicate that the immune system can be adversely affected by noise pollution. In addition, it has also been determined that constant noise pollution may lead to babies being born at low birth weights and with birth defects.

West Virginia residents who have suffered personal injury as the result of the noise, water or air pollution caused by fracking and oil and gas development close to their homes may face high medical costs. They are entitled to pursue the recovery of damages, but proving such a claim may be complicated. The experience of a personal injury attorney may be invaluable in such cases, as he or she will have the resources to investigate the circumstances and build a strong case to protect your rights in court. More information is available on our personal injury website.

Source: switchboard.nrdc.org, "I can't hear you: Noise pollution is a health threat near unconventional oil and gas sites", Tanja Srebotnjak, Oct. 24, 2014

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