Public Forum on Air Quality and Impacts on Public Health-Colfax Municipal Building

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Published
March 24, 2019

Dr. Crispin Pierce, a nationally-recognized expert on frac sand health risks, is a Professor of Environmental Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He, his interns and students will present information on recent scientific studies regarding frac sand dust at the Colfax Municipal Building in the Cozy Theater located at 613 Main Street in Colfax, Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon, March 30th, 2019.  The program will begin at 2:00 p.m. with a showing of videos from the Frontline Series on respirable crystalline silica dust and the dangers posed to the respiratory system. There will be a short intermission with light refreshments served and at 3:00 p.m., Dr. Pierce and his students will present information about the peer reviewed study released last fall regarding areas in Chippewa Co. impacted by crystalline silica dust. Silica sandstone is being mined, processed and trans-loaded in at least 22 counties in WI. Hand-outs will be available.  All people and their families from Dunn, Barron, Eau Claire, and Chippewa and surrounding counties are invited to attend.

Celeste Monforton, a former top official at the Mine Safety and Health Administration says, “It’s pretty difficult to hear the miners just working so hard to catch their breath and to know that the reason for that is those exposures at work that we absolutely know how to prevent,” Monforton adds that she now understands the consequences of not focusing on silica dust sooner.

“Had we taken action, I really believe that we would not be seeing the disease that we are seeing now,” Monforton says. “It’s abundantly clear in what we’re seeing. This problem really is a silica problem…this is such a gross and frank example of regulatory failure.”

Respiratory problems are already being seen in people living near frac sand mines.  Action needs to be taken before it becomes as widespread as in Appalachia.

 

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