Dedicated to Digging for Truth, Blasting the Myths, and Etching Reality in Stone.
What You Can’t See … CAN kill you!
So you’re walking along a Railroad track and you hear a train. What do you do? Well, duh! You get out of the way, because what you hear could kill you.
The same applies when you see a gravel truck barreling towards you as you ride your bike down the road. Or a mean dog running towards you might cause you to take evasive or defensive action. Even small hazards like wasps and mosquitoes can be ‘seen’ and avoided, if you’re alert.
But what can you do about E.Coli? Can you see it coming? Or how about various viruses, bacteria, SARS, radioactivity, asbestos, etc. etc., and … crystalline silica?
What? Crystalline Silica? We know about those other things and how our health authorities have programs and methods – some more effective than others – to monitor the hazards, and even some programs to protect us.
But Crystalline Silica as a health hazard? Who knew?
Well, we do know it is classed as a Group 1 human carcinogen. We know where a lot of it originates (HINT – Gravel Pits and Quarries). We know it has other damaging cumulative health effects besides cancer. We know we can’t see it. We know that the SMALLER the particles (and even less visible) the greater the risk and damage.
And we also know that virtually nothing is being done to obtain data on the extent of this ‘War on Lungs’! No measurements or testing other than very infrequent and simple visual observation of source sites. No standards that can readily be applied by any identifiable regulatory agencies. Nobody acting responsibly!
Technologies are available, such as LIDAR (google that) to measure particle size and plume ranges. They are just not being applied.
Is it because ‘death by dust’ is often slow and painful, and symptoms can have other causes or be confused with other ailments? Or perhaps bureaucrats really don’t want to get off their butts and actually DO something about the issue because there aren’t enough citizens ‘demonstrating’ at their door? (When was the last time you got what you wanted by voting?)
You can stay off railway tracks. You can get a shot for the Flu. You can even dress for the weather. But you can’t stop breathing the Silica-laden dust if you’re anywhere near, or even miles downwind from, a gravel pit or quarry.
And it CAN kill you!