Chippewa County (WQOW) - Sand mining is a source of crystalline silica which can cause silicosis, a lung disease. That is known. Silicosis is a serious occupational hazard. What isn't known is whether dust released into the air outside of sand mines is a serious public health concern. One county could study it.
Jean Durch, the Chippewa County Health Department director, plans to submit a proposal for the county to fund a project that would monitor ambient crystalline silica. Chippewa County is a hot bed for frac sand mining. Durch says the project would cover five years, studying what impact, if any, mining has on the air in communities near sand mining operations. She says the proposal is still being developed. A final draft could be submitted next month.
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