What Are the Most Toxic Substances Found at Oil and Gas Rigs?

Photo of an oil rig at sunset

It’s not a surprise that coal, gas and oil production in this country introduces dangers to its employees and neighboring citizens. Fossil fuel production is still our number one source of energy, and unfortunately it has turned our world into a desperate and costly place. One main reason that oil production is so deadly is that the production of fossil fuels uses thousands of chemicals and toxins that are dangerous to our health. There are a few ingredients and substances in particular that are especially harmful to our environment.

What Are the Most Dangerous Toxic Substances in Oil Production?

  • Benzene: Fossil fuel production uses benzene in oil, coal and natural gas. Benzene is one of the most well-known carcinogens that is specifically linked to diseases such as leukemia, breast cancer, and urinary tract cancers. If an oil rig worker is exposed to benzene, it could reduce red and white blood cells in the body, resulting in auto-immune issues or chromosome alterations. Oil industry employees can be exposed to it by inhaling car exhaust, gasoline fumes, oil and coal industrial burning, and fracking fluid exposure.
  • Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide: These are two examples of particle-forming air pollutants from coal power plants. They can cause serious health issues, including lung cancer, heart attacks, and other deadly health conditions. The largest sources of SO2 and NOx emissions are located at power plants and other oil industrial facilities.
  • Petroleum coke: This is a heavy dust that resembles coal, and it contains dozens of dangerous chemicals and heavy metals. It is found specifically in tar sands oil processing, and when burned (which it usually is), it can contribute to health issues that might not be found until much later in life.
  • Formaldehyde: This is found in natural gas, and it is a carcinogen that links to leukemia and rare nose cancers. It is highly toxic and has caused spontaneous miscarriages, congenital malformations, low birth weights, infertility and endometriosis in women.

Working at an oil rig is dangerous for many reasons, but a major reason that it could be deadly is exposure to these dangerous toxins and chemicals. If you are injured or fall ill because of exposure to any of these while working, our attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat LLP can assist you in getting the compensation you need. Contact us today for a free consultation.



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