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
Kelvin S. Rodolfo, Professor Emeritus
Dept. of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois at Chicago
Philippine National Academy of Science and Technology