Are Residents Near Fracked Wells in Danger From Silica Sand Exposure?

How dangerous is that dust?
From Shale Reporter:
In Susquehanna County, “Dust plumes are common, normal,” said Roter, but the new normal is under public scrutiny as residents ask if they might be exposed to health risks similar to those faced by workers on hydraulic fracturing sites.
According to a National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOSH) study, crystalline silica sand poses one of the “most significant known health hazards to workers exposed during hydraulic fracturing.” Breathing silica dust can lead to lung cancer and silicosis, a fatal respiratory disease.
NIOSH scientists collected 116 air samples from 11 different hydraulic fracturing sites in Arkansas, Colorado, North Dakota, Texas and Pennsylvania, revealing that the levels of breathable crystalline silica “consistently exceeded relevant occupation health criteria.”
More than 30 percent of all samples showed silica exposures 10 or more times greater than the NIOSH recommended exposure limit, which is higher than the limits that are legally enforceable regulatory limits.
Read the whole article here. 

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