A look at how residents in Arkansas are dealing with the health implications of drilling for natural gas in their communities:

Keith didn’t want to think about Iraq, but the tankers and water trucks reminded him of the vehicles he’d seen in Iraq’s oil fields. In Iraq, if an eighteen-wheeler pulled up on him, it either backed off or got blown away.

Tracy had headaches for the entire month of August 2010. Skin lesions and blisters broke out on her back. Her lymph nodes swelled to golf-ball size, she says. Her doctor gave her antibiotics and topical creams, but nothing worked. Keith developed nosebleeds; he’d never had them before. His nose would start running and there would be blood.

A month before the big quake, Tracy blacked out and fell down the stairs. She tore a tendon and chipped a bone in her left ankle. The bone refused to heal. Her doctor didn’t know why.

“Backyard Battlefields.” — J. Malcolm Garcia, Oxford American

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