Until recently, few understood the dangers created by crystalline silica dust. Unlike normal sand, crystalline silica dust has razor sharp edges and is microscopic in size. When inhaled, it bypasses the body’s natural defenses and become permanently lodged in the deepest parts of the lungs. It has proven links to diseases that lead to death including silicosis, lung cancer, COPD, renal failure, and kidney disease as well as causing auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. These health issues are so grave that OSHA and MIOSHA have recently adopted new safety standards to deal with crystalline silica dust. Both agencies are involved in a massive educational drive to warn workers about the dangers.
Please take a moment to read this report from our friends at "Friends of the Platte River Watershed" who presented this report to their township when opposing a gravel pit in their backyard.