‘Call’ Readers Write: Wisconsin DNR Frac Sand Mining Air Monitoring Is Worse Than Inadequate

The WPR report in your Saturday Daily Call about air monitoring of

frac sand mines does not go far enough.


The most dangerous component of airborne pollutants, carcinogenic

crystalline silica dust, is not monitored by WDNR at all, at any

mine.  Refer to its August 2011 Report to the Natural Resources

Board on silica, at http://dnr.wi.gov/files/PDF/pubs/am/AM407.pdf.

The report acknowledges that carcinogenic fine crystalline silica

particles are generated by mining, and that the most dangerous

particles are finer than four microns.

But it also admits that there are no generally accepted ways to

monitor it in ambient air, and that WDNR currently has no

crystalline silica monitoring data, because “…[a]dditional financial

and staff resources would be needed to conduct crystalline silica

monitoring. Monitoring to specifically analyze for crystalline

silica is difficult, there are no federal standards and there is no

standard reference method for monitoring crystalline silica in

ambient air.”  Excuses, excuses…

The only research being conducted on particulate and silica health

risk around Wisconsin frac sand mines is being conducted by Dr.

Crispin Pierce and students in the Environmental Public Health

Program at the UW-Eau Claire College of Nursing and Health Sciences


His early results show that EPA standards for the finest (2.5 micron)

and most dangerous particles are exceeded.

Please urge your concerned readers to support Pierce’s research by

donating online at https://www.uwec.edu/donations/cardvalidation/.

In the gift designation area write: Applied Environmental Health

Research Fund.

Kelvin S. Rodolfo, Professor Emeritus

Dept. of Earth & Environmental Sciences

University of Illinois at Chicago


Corresponding Member,

Philippine National Academy of Science and Technology

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