PA doctors are in a bind right now. Suppose a patient thinks he or she is ill because of fracking health hazards. In fracking, chemicals enter the water table and the air, causing severe pollution. In order to attempt to treat the condition, a doctor must have access to what chemicals are involved. It makes sense, right?
While it makes sense to the doctors, the community at large, and to the patients suffering, it doesn’t make sense to the natural gas companies because their argument against doctors’ knowing the chemicals means knowing proprietary, competitive secrets.
The so called gag rule is written vaguely and doctors fear being sued for not knowing whom to tell and whom not to tell. And, what if the doctor published an article or did a study on a chemical’s symptoms and treatment? Would that be telling corporate secrets?
With more fracking on the horizon, the proposition is murky at best.
One of the chemicals that have been made public and causing concerns is high levels of respirable crystalline silica. One has to wonder — is silica the new asbestos? Silicosis is a lung disease where lung tissue around trapped silica particles causes inflammation and scarring and reduces the lungs’ ability to breathe in oxygen. Silica may cause lung cancer and has been linked to tuberculosis, COPD, autoimmune disease, and kidney disease.
Is silicosis the new asbestosis or mesothelioma?
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries because of chemical exposure from fracking, please contact us about your worker compensation case or your environmental toxins case.
Fracking must not be at the expense of public health.