Silica dust is released when rocks, sand, and ore are crushed or broken. Working in or living near a mine may be risky because silica dust causes silicosis, an incurable lung disease.

Silicosis results in conditions such as lung fibrosis, emphysema, pulmonary tuberculosis, and heart failure. Respirable silica dust is invisible to the naked eye and is so light that it can remain airborne for a long time. It can thus travel long distances and affect populations that may not otherwise considered to be at risk.

Inhaled crystalline silica is classified by the International   Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a group 1 human lung carcinogen.

Residents living near a silica sand mine may be exposed to levels above the occupational standard. Residents are exposed to particulate matter beyond an eight-hour workday, and do not have the monitoring nor protective gear that are available to workers. Furthermore, neither the EPA nor the DNR has developed air-quality standards for crystalline silica.


If a resident near a mine dies from a heart attack, cancer, COPD, TB, or an asthma attack is an autopsy done to determine if the mine contributed to the death? Of course not. This is where the issue of determining the REAL health costs is difficult and why silicosis is under-reported. People are not necessarily dying from silicosis, but these other health-related illnesses. 

Sources: doc49ff314bec822683437736.txt  



 Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)




Excerpt from Mankato Free Press:

"Town cautious about sand mine expansion"

OTTAWA — Unimin Mining’s plans for a massive expansion on the north edge of Ottawa is sparking worries over rerouting of highways, potential contamination from a landfill, well problems, possible disruption of a cemetery, blasting damage and other environmental concerns.

Read the full article at:


Excerpt from:

Risks Assessed From Chronic Toxic Exposure

Written by Jeff Radford
Corrales Comment
Wednesday, 28 December 2005


Two Corrales residents have died of lung fibrosis (scarring of lung tissue) which they blamed on Intel’s emissions. Intel releases tons of silica particulate created by its air pollution control equipment. Silica particulate is a proven cause of lung fibrosis.


Dozens more residents have documented health problems they relate to Intel in letters forwarded to the N.M. Department of Health.


An air pollution  expert hired by the N.M. Environment Department last year used actual, confirmed meteorological data to show that Intel’s pollution plume was going right to residents’ homes at times they called in complaints.


A recently released analysis of a health survey mailed to all Corrales residents in 2002 shows strong correlation between certain kinds of health problems and residents’ proximity to Intel.


Please view full article at: 

More on issues with Intel at:



Silica has been dubbed, "the new asbestos." Do we wait years and then find out we have a public health crisis, such as in the following asbestos case?

Grace's Libby mine declared "public health emergency"

The first public health emergency declared by the U.S. EPA is at the Libby asbestos site in Montana. Hundreds of asbestos-related disease cases have been documented in this small community.

Read this full article at:


Asthma & Particulate Matter

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children.  Particulate matter has been shown to exacerbate asthma and asthma conditions.

Find out more at:


Increases in Particulate Matter Trigger Heart Attacks

The risk of heart attack was about 1.5 times higher among those exposed to elevated particulate matter (air pollution) in the two hours prior to the development of symptoms. The risk was even greater when particulate matter levels were increased for 24 hours prior to symptoms.

To learn more visit:



There are organizations that recognize the health threat to residents from silica dust.
Conference: Silica Hazards in Construction and Mining: Reducing Exposures and Preventing Disease
New Delhi
December 11-12, 2009


Occupational Knowledge International (OK International) in cooperation with the Public Health Foundation of India is organizing a national level workshop in India to increase the awareness of silica hazards and the availability of pollution control technologies to reduce these hazards.

The construction and mining industries have long been associated with exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust worldwide. Thousands of workers and those residing near these operations are exposed to extremely high silica levels during stone crushing, construction, and mining activities. The dust inhaled by these workers and surrounding residents causes silicosis, cancer and is a risk factor for Tuberculosis (TB). Engineering controls have been shown to help mitigate these harmful exposures.

Excerpt from:


Excerpt from:


in New Delhi

The preliminary findings showed that people suffered from cough with sputum and shortness of breath and appeared weak and wasted. It was also revealed that women who had lost their husbands to silicosis were themselves suffering from the disease. The centre's study, which was done in December 2002, said: "If silicosis or silico-tuberculosis is present, then the residents and ex-workers are eligible for compensation; if not, they are not." The experts, T.K. Joshi, Project Director from the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, and Elihu Richter, a Professor from the Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, stated categorically that if silica was found, it was a case for action. "Right now, absence of evidence should not be equated with evidence of absence."

Read the full article at:


‘Fracking’ causes environmental, human disaster

Silica sand used by the gas and oil industry is mixed into a secret concoction of chemicals (protected by the Halliburton Loophole). Sand and chemicals are then pumped into the ground forcing out the desired product. Chemicals then leech into groundwater supplies and cause massive polluting cross country. Don’t let the path of destruction begin here.

More information available at:


Particulate Matter:

Little things can cause big problems

Why should you be concerned about particulate matter?

Tiny pieces of particulate matter, PM 2.5, are small enough to pass from our lungs to our bloodstream.

PM can alter the body's defense systems against foreign materials, damage lung tissues, aggravate existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and can lead to cancer. In some cases, PM exposure can even lead to premature death.


Check out this link for more on particulate matter:



Please read "Silent victims of silicosis" at:


When Man and Nature Collide: Protect the environment to protect health

Environmentalists and healthcare specialists conclude that an increase in respiratory ailments in Armenia can be attributed to a decrease in nature’s ability to clean the air as a result of over-logging and industrialization and destruction of green areas in cities.

Between 2001-2005, cases of respiratory illness increased 35%.


Learn more about this growing global issue at:


Make a Free Website with Yola.