Getting the sand out of our eyes


(12/5/2018)

From: Deanne Sczepanski
Whitehall

I’m writing to correct Steve Cooker whose letter appeared in the November 14 issue of the Winona Post.

Steve is under the impression that silica sand brought up from the depths of the Earth in frac sand mining is the same sand that we see along the roadways and in a typical sandbox.

The sand we see has been worn down by years of erosion. It and its dust will not do permanent damage to your body as the particles are round.

Silica sand, however, has never been touched by erosion. Its dust particles are extremely sharp, and lodge in the lungs, spreading to cells in other parts of the body. It is even more dangerous than asbestos.

I recall at one county meeting a woman who said she cannot even get insurance for her horse anymore because horses get silicosis as well as humans.

Property values have dropped 35-50 percent here in Whitehall and in any vicinity where there are mines, which is nearly all of Trempealeau County. Our once beautiful farmland known as “God’s Country” will never be farmland again as only six inches of soil is replaced in reclamation, and not necessarily topsoil. Twenty-five percent of the nation’s silica sand comes from Trempealeau County.

We were not forewarned about the dangers of asbestos, but we are forewarned of the dangers of silica sand. Take heed.

 

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