EPA apparently backs down from investigating groundwater contamination cases
Groundwater contamination can include exposure to dangerous chemical benzene
Benzene exposure can be linked to spina bifida, other birth defects
Spina bifida is a serious birth defect that can occur in infants for a variety of reasons, ranging from mothers obtaining insufficient levels of folic acid during pregnancy to environmental causes. In some cases, spina bifida has been linked to benzene exposure in pregnant women. This particular birth defect results in an incomplete closing of the backbone and can also affect the membranes surrounding the spinal cord. While spina bifida most often affects the lower back, which may mean only mild symptoms, it can also affect the middle back or even neck and have much more serious repercussions.
One recent article took aim at the Environmental Protection Agency, alleging that the EPA has shown a pattern of caving to pressures from the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) industry rather than conducting in-depth investigations into groundwater contamination claims. Many believe that groundwater contamination can lead to exposure to toxic chemicals like benzene, something that can contribute to an infant developing spina bifida in the womb. Critics say that the EPA’s press release claiming that there is no widespread groundwater contamination due to fracking can be countered by hundreds of documented cases of groundwater contamination.
In fact, officials from the state of Pennsylvania reportedly discovered in 2012 that as many as 9 percent of fracked wells were known to fail in their first year of operation. More ironically, the EPA itself supposedly discovered that approximately two-thirds of fracked wells contain cement gaps that can lead to three percent of those wells not only being faulty, but also passing right through drinking water formations. This can create a clear path for groundwater contamination to take.
Reports indicate that fracking can and does cause groundwater contamination in certain cases, and that it could occur more often than some want to believe. It appears clear that more comprehensive studies are needed, and government agencies should not be giving into big industry pressure to decrease their investigations into public safety concerns like groundwater contamination and benzene exposure. Please call our St. Louis toxic tort law firm at 1-888-586-7041 to find out what options you may have under civil law to seek financial restitution for cases of spina bifida that you believe can be tied to benzene exposure due to groundwater contamination.
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