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Kilauea volcano eruption

Kilauea volcano eruption

The Kilauea volcano recently erupted.  Here are some article regarding that event.

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‘It smelled like sulfur:’ Ash falls near Hawaii volcano – Phys.org
May 18, 2018 by Caleb Jones And Sophia Yan

“Hawaii residents covered their faces with masks after a volcano menacing the Big Island for weeks exploded, sending a mixture of pulverized rock, glass and crystal into the air in its strongest eruption of sandlike ash in days.

The Kilauea volcano exploded at its summit shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday following two weeks of volcanic activity that sent lava flows into neighborhoods and destroyed at least 26 homes. Scientists said the eruption was the most powerful in recent days, though it probably lasted only a few minutes.

And it had a smell.

“This morning it smelled like sulfur so we had to close all the windows,” Lindsey Magnani said Thursday as she and her family picked up masks in Volcano, Hawaii. She and her fiance, Elroy Rodrigues, had been sneezing all day, but their children—Kahele Rodrigues, 2, and Kayden Rodrigues, 3 months old—were doing OK.

Authorities handed out around 2,000 masks for protection for people living near the volcano. But geologists have warned that the volcano could become even more violent, with increasing ash production and the potential that future blasts could hurl boulders the size of cows from the summit.

But after Thursday’s eruption, most residents found only thin coatings of ash, if they saw any at all, as winds blew much of the 30,000-foot (9,100-meter) plume away from people.

“It was a grit, like a sand at the beach,” said Joe Laceby, who lives in Volcano a few miles to the northeast of Kilauea’s summit. The ash was a bit of an irritant, he said, but “not too bad.”

Laceby sealed windows and cracks in his home with cellophane wrap to keep out ash and volcanic gases. He has gas masks to protect himself from the toxic fumes and ash.

Winds kept the ash away from the Volcano Winery, tasting room manager Lani Delapenia said. A thin coating of white soot had blanketed tables and vines the day before, on Wednesday, but none wafted over the day of the 30,000-foot plume. The strength and direction of the wind makes all the difference, she said.

“The Volcano Village, and us at the winery, are doing well and we hope people still come and visit us and order wine because we are still pumping wine out,” Delapenia said.

The vineyard also has a great view of the plume, she said.

Julia Neal, operator of Pahala Plantation Cottages about 28 miles (45 kilometers) southwest of the summit crater, said people have been picking up ash masks from county civil defense workers at the local community center. Some people working outside were wearing them. People with asthma were staying inside, she said.

The eruption reminded her of 2008, when Kilauea also had large summit eruptions and sent ash and gas over her community.

A light dusting fell Thursday, but the town had more ash a couple of days ago when people had to wash it off their cars, she said.

“People are renovating one of the historic buildings across the street. The school kids just stopped by. They’re getting ready to graduate. Life is going on quite vibrantly here with people taking these precautions,” she said.

The National Weather Service issued an ash advisory and then extended it through early evening, and county officials distributed ash masks to area residents. Several schools closed because of the risk of elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, a volcanic gas.

Dr. Josh Green, a state senator who represents part of the Big Island, said the immediate risk health risk comes from ash particles in the air. Anyone with respiratory difficulties, such as asthma or emphysema, should limit exposure to the ash, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration extended a restriction on aircraft from entering the airspace up to 30,000 feet above sea level. The earlier limit was up to 10,000 feet (3,000 meters). The prohibition applies to a 5-mile (8-kilometer) radius around the crater.

Thursday’s eruption did not affect the Big Island’s two largest airports in Hilo and in Kailua-Kona.

The crater spewing ash sits within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed since May 11 as a safety precaution over risks of a violent eruption.

Scientists warned May 9 that a drop in the lava lake at the summit might create conditions for a large explosion. Geologists predicted such a blast would mostly release trapped steam from flash-heated groundwater.

Kilauea has also been erupting lava into neighborhoods 25 miles (40 kilometers) to the east of the summit crater since May 3. County civil defense officials on Friday reported a new lava vent in the area—the 22nd such fissure.

Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, has been erupting continuously since 1983. It’s among the five volcanoes that form the Big Island, and it’s the only one actively erupting. In 1924, an eruption killed one person and sent rocks, ash and dust into the air for 17 days.”

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Hawaii volcano sends ash plume 30,000 feet into sky (Update) – Phys.org
May 17, 2018 by Sophia Yan And Caleb Jones

“Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano erupted anew before dawn Thursday, spewing a steely gray plume of ash about 30,000 feet (9,100 meters) into the sky that began raining down on a nearby town.

The explosion at the summit came shortly after 4 a.m. following two weeks of volcanic activity that sent lava flows into neighborhoods and destroyed at least 26 homes. Scientists said the eruption was the most powerful in recent days, though it probably lasted only a few minutes.

Geologists have warned that the volcano could become even more violent, with increasing ash production and the potential that future blasts could hurl boulders from the summit.

Toby Hazel, who lives in Pahoa, near the mountain, said she heard “a lot of booming sounds” Thursday. Those came after days of earthquakes.

“It’s just time to go—it really, really is,” she said, preparing to leave town. “I feel so sorry for the people who don’t go, because they don’t have the money, or don’t want to go to a shelter and leave their houses.”

Some people in the community closest to the volcano slept through the blast, said Kanani Aton, a spokeswoman for Hawaii County Civil Defense, who spoke to relatives and friends in the town called Volcano.

At least one person who was awake heard nothing. Epic Lava tour operator John Tarson is an early riser and said he only learned about the eruption because he received an alert on his phone.

Tarson said the ash plume looked different than others he’s witnessed because of its sheer height. A video he shared on Facebook showed a towering column of ash reaching into a hazy sky.

“What I noticed is the plume was just rising straight into the air, and it was not tipping in any direction,” he said. “We’ve been expecting this, and a lot of people are going to see it and get excited and scared.”

Residents as far away as Hilo, about 30 miles from Kilauea, were noticing the volcano’s effects. Pua’ena Ahn, who lives in Hilo, complained about having labored breathing, itchy, watery eyes and some skin irritation from airborne ash.

A National Weather Service ash advisory was in effect until noon. Several schools closed because of the risk of elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, a volcanic gas.

The crater sits within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which has been closed since May 11 as a safety precaution over risks of a violent eruption.”

Follow the link above for the full article.

Airborne Dust Particles

Hazards Of Airborne Dust Particles – Author: Stephen Girts (Teach the Earth)

“Any type of earth-moving activity or combustion can produce excessive amounts of particles in the air, whether it be from businesses, industry, or individuals.

Examples of the types of dust found in the work environment include:

  • mineral dusts, such as those containing free crystalline silica (e.g., as quartz), coal and cement dusts;
  • metallic dusts, such as lead, cadmium, nickel, and beryllium dusts;
  • other chemical dusts, e.g., many bulk chemicals and pesticides:
  • organic and vegetable dusts, such as flour, wood, cotton and tea dusts, pollens;
  • biohazards, such as viable particles, moulds and spores

Dusts are generated not only by work processes, but may also occur naturally, e.g., pollens, volcanic ashes, and sandstorms.

Sources: Where Does It Come From
Airborne Dust Particles can come from pretty much anywhere, any movement or activity can cause a large amount of excess particles in the air.

  • Disturbed vacant or open lands
  • Construction and mining activity
  • Landscaping maintenance activity
  • Industrial sources
  • Fires: fireplace, camp, forest
  • – Charcoal or wood-burning barbecues – Off-road vehicle activity
    – Unpaved and paved roads, parking lots – Diesel exhaust

How Airborne Dust Particles Travel The Earth
Airborne Dust Particles can travel through various sources such as soil being lifted up by weather (an Aeolian process), volcanic eruptions, and pollution. Dust comes from arid and dry regions where high velocity winds are able to remove mostly silt-sized material. This includes ares where grazing, ploughing, vehicle use and other human activities have furthered the destabilized the land. Dust in the atmosphere is produced by saltation and sandblasting of sand-sized grains, and it is transported through the troposphere. The airborne dust is considered an aerosol and once in the atmosphere, it can produce strong local radiative forcing.

Bioavailability
Airborne Dust Particles contaminates the biosphere through inhalation by humans and animals, and can also effect crops growing in an area with large amounts of dust particles. When inhaled, the fibers are deposited in air passages and on lung cells.

Impacts On Human Health
Particles can be so small that they pass through the nasal passage and travel to the deepest parts of the lungs and cause damage. To compound the problem, toxic and cancer-causing chemicals can attach themselves to PM yielding much more profound effects. The tiniest of particles can even pass into the bloodstream through the lungs. People most at risk from breathing particle pollution are children, the elderly, and people with respiratory or heart disease. Healthy people can be affected as well, especially outdoor exercisers. Effects of breathing PM for hours, days, or years include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Respiratory pain
  • Diminished lung function
  • Weakened immune systems
  • Increased hospitalization
  • pneumonia, asthma, and emphysema – Heart attacks and strokes
    – Premature death (1-8 years)”

Dust Storm - Airborne dust particles

Airborne Dust: A Hazard to Human Health, Environment and Society
Author: By Enric Terradellas, Slobodan Nickovic and Xiao-Ye Zhang – World Meteorological Organisation

“Over the last decade, the scientific community has come to realize the important impacts of airborne dust on climate, human health, the environment and various socio-economic sectors. WMO and its Members, having started implementation of monitoring, forecasting and early warning systems for airborne dust in 2004, are at the vanguard on evaluating these impacts and developing products to guide preparedness, adaptation and mitigation policies.

This article will first provide an overview of the dust cycle and discuss its interaction with weather, the climate system, and terrestrial and marine ecosystems, before looking at its impacts on health and diverse economic sectors. It will then highlight the international network coordinated by WMO and its ambitious plan for providing policy-oriented products. The intent is to raise awareness in National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) on the extent of the adverse impacts of airborne dust and to inform readers of WMO efforts to understand these better. The article highlights the WMO initiative to provide operational services that can facilitate dust forecasting and early warning in order to invite other interested organisations to actively participate in this important work.

The dust cycle
Dust storms are common meteorological hazard in arid and semi-arid regions. They are usually caused by thunderstorms, or strong pressure gradients associated with cyclones, that increase wind speed over a wide area.

These strong winds lift large amounts of sand and dust from bare, dry soils into the atmosphere, transporting them hundreds to thousands of kilometres away.

Gravity keeps dust pinned down on the Earth surface. The heavier a dust particle – due to size, density or the presence of water in the soil – the stronger the gravitational force holding it down. A dust storm can only occur when the wind force exceeds the threshold value for the loose particles to be lifted off the ground. Vegetation serves as a cover, protecting the Earth surface from this wind (Aeolian) erosion. Thus, drought contributes to the emergence of dust storms, as do poor farming and grazing practices or inadequate water management, by exposing the dust and sand to the wind.

Some 40% of aerosols in the troposphere (the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere) are dust particles from wind erosion. The main sources of these mineral dusts are the arid regions of Northern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia and China. Comparatively, Australia, America and South Africa make minor, but still important, contributions. Global estimates of dust emissions, mainly derived from simulation models, vary between one and three Gigatons per year.

Once released from the surface, dust particles are raised to higher levels of the troposphere by turbulent mixing and convective updrafts. They are then transported by winds for lengths of time, depending on their size and meteorological conditions. Gravitation remains the major force pulling dust particles back down to the surface. Together with impaction and turbulent diffusion, it contributes to what is called dry deposition. As larger particles sediment more quickly than smaller ones, there is a shift toward smaller particle sizes during transport. Dust is also washed out of the atmosphere by precipitation – wet deposition. The average lifetime of dust particles in the atmosphere ranges from a few hours for particles with a diameter larger than 10 μm, to more than 10 days for the sub-micrometric ones.

Interaction with weather and climate
Aerosols, particularly mineral dusts, impact weather as well as global and regional climate.4 Dust particles, especially if coated by pollution, act as condensation nuclei for warm cloud formation and as efficient ice nuclei agents for cold cloud generation. The ability of dust particles to serve as such depends on their size, shape and composition, which in turn depend on the nature of parent soils, emissions and transport processes. Modification of the microphysical composition of clouds changes their ability to absorb solar radiation, which indirectly affects the energy reaching the Earth’s surface.5 Dust particles also influence the growth of cloud droplets and ice crystals, thus affecting the amount and location of precipitation.

Airborne dust functions in a manner similar to the greenhouse effect: it absorbs and scatters solar radiation entering Earth’s atmosphere, reducing the amount reaching the surface, and absorbs long-wave radiation bouncing back up from the surface, re-emitting it in all directions. Again, the ability of dust particles to absorb solar radiation depends on their size, shape and mineralogical and chemical composition. The vertical distribution of dust in the air (vertical profile) and the characteristics of the underlying surface are also required to quantify this impact.

Impacts on human health
Airborne dust presents serious risks for human health. Dust particle size is a key determinant of potential hazard to human health. Particles larger than 10 μm are not breathable, thus can only damage external organs – mostly causing skin and eye irritations, conjunctivitis and enhanced susceptibility to ocular infection. Inhalable particles, those smaller than 10 μm, often get trapped in the nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract, thus can be associated with respiratory disorders such as asthma, tracheitis, pneumonia, allergic rhinitis and silicosis. However, finer particles may penetrate the lower respiratory tract and enter the bloodstream, where they can affect all internal organs and be responsible for cardiovascular disorders. A global model assessment in 2014 estimated that exposure to dust particles caused about 400 000 premature deaths by cardiopulmonary disease in the over 30 population.6

Some infectious diseases can be transmitted by dust. Meningococcal meningitis, a bacterial infection of the thin tissue layer that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, can result in brain damage and, if untreated, death in 50% of cases.7 Outbreaks occur worldwide, yet the highest incidence is found in the “meningitis belt”, a part of sub-Saharan Africa with an estimated population of 300 million. These outbreaks have a strong seasonal pattern – many studies have linked environmental conditions, such as low humidity and dusty conditions, to the time and place of infections.8 Researchers believe that the inhalation of dust particles in hot dry weather may damage nose and throat mucosa creating favourable conditions for bacterial infection.9 Moreover, iron oxides embedded in dust particles may enhance the risk of infection.10

Dust also plays a role in the transmission of valley fever – a potentially deadly disease – in the Southwest of the United States and in the Northern Mexico by acting as a transporter of Coccidioides fungi spores.

Impacts on the environment and society
Surface dust deposits are a source of micro-nutrients for both continental and maritime ecosystems. Saharan dust is thought to fertilize the Amazon rainforest, and dust transports of iron and phosphorus are know to benefit marine biomass production in parts of the oceans suffering from the shortage of such elements.11 But dust also has many negative impacts on agriculture, including reducing crop yields by burying seedlings, causing loss of plant tissue, reducing photosynthetic activity and increasing soil erosion.

Indirect dust deposit impacts include filling irrigation canals, covering transportation routes and affecting river and stream water quality. Reductions in visibility due to airborne dust also have an impact on air and land transport. Poor visibility conditions are a danger during aircraft landing and taking off – landings may be diverted and departures delayed. Dust can also scour aircraft surfaces and damage engines.

Dust can impact on the output of solar power plants, especially those that rely on direct solar radiation. Dust deposits on solar panels are a main concern of plants operators. Keeping the solar collectors dust-free to prevent particles from blocking incoming radiation requires time and labour.”

For the full article, please follow the link above.

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Have a good day! Chris Loans

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

What happens to dust in the air you breathe in your lungs?

Lungs

Here is some information about what happens when you breath in dust……..  I trust you’ll find it informative.

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“What happens to dust in the air you breathe in your lungs?Quora – Shreya Thacker, Physical and Respiratory Therapist

Our lungs are self-cleansing.

Throughout the respiratory system, there are various checkpoints that deploy different defenses against the microbes/dust particles.

The first defense is in the form of nasal hair. Nasal hair act like a filter that sifts the inhaled air to remove bacteria/fungi/viruses/any other offensive specks (dust, pollen, etc).

The smaller filtered particles, along with nasal secretions – which is mostly water, form the boogers (yuck, I know).

The larger particles, that often irritate the nasal mucous membranes, trigger a sneeze. This explosive and often violent expulsion of air is usually enough to clear the nose of the irritants.

The second defense is in the form of a sticky, gel-like substance called the mucus. Mucus is famous among children as the snot and among adults as the phlegm.

About a liter of mucus is produced every day by the airways. More, when we’re sick. (This why we don’t notice its presence when healthy)

The purpose of the sticky mucus, among many other things, is to trap dust particles from the inspired air.

The trapped dust and the mucus are constantly moved towards the upper airway (nose and mouth) in a sweeping motion to be expelled by tiny hair-like structures called cilia. Cilia move in a wave-like motion — back and forth — beating 11-14 times/second.

The larger trapped particles that cause throat irritation trigger a cough. The ones in the nose stimulate a sneeze. Alternatively, one could simply spit or blow the mucus out.

However, most of the mucus is swallowed. It passes through the alimentary canal, like food and water, without any adverse effects.

Finally, the smallest of the particles that escape and slide through the cracks in first two defense systems to reach the lungs face the wrath of the immune system.

Macrophages, type of white blood cells, quite literally engulf, ingest, digest, and neutralize the offending agent.

All these mechanisms, when work together, simultaneously and efficiently, ensure the lungs are free of the allergic, disease inducing particles.”

Lungs

“What are the Effects of Dust on the Lungs? – CCOHS

The lungs are constantly exposed to danger from the dusts we breathe. Luckily, the lungs have another function – they have defense mechanisms that protects them by removing dust particles from the respiratory system. For example, during a lifetime, a coal miner may inhale 1,000 g of dust into his lungs. When doctors examine the lungs of a miner after death, they find no more than 40 g of dust. Such a relatively small residue illustrates the importance of the lungs’ defenses, and certainly suggests that they are quite effective. On the other hand, even though the lungs can clear themselves, excessive inhalation of dust may result in disease.

The lungs are protected by a series of defense mechanisms in different regions of the respiratory tract.

When a person breathes in, particles suspended in the air enter the nose, but not all of them reach the lungs. The nose is an efficient filter. Most large particles are stopped in it, until they are removed mechanically by blowing the nose or sneezing.

Some of the smaller particles succeed in passing through the nose to reach the windpipe and the dividing air tubes that lead to the lungs.
These tubes are called bronchi and bronchioles. All of these airways are lined by cells. The mucus they produce catches most of the dust particles. Tiny hairs called cilia, covering the walls of the air tubes, move the mucus upward and out into the throat, where it is either coughed up and spat out, or swallowed.

The air reaches the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the inner part of the lungs with any dust particles that avoided the defenses in the nose and airways. The air sacs are very important because through them, the body receives oxygen and releases carbon dioxide.

Dust that reaches the sacs and the lower part of the airways where there are no cilia is attacked by special cells called macrophages. These are extremely important for the defense of the lungs. They keep the air sacs clean. Macrophages virtually swallow the particles. Then the macrophages, in a way which is not well understood, reach the part of the airways that is covered by cilia. The wavelike motions of the cilia move the macrophages which contain dust to the throat, where they are spat out or swallowed.

Besides macrophages, the lungs have another system for the removal of dust. The lungs can react to the presence of germ-bearing particles by producing certain proteins. These proteins attach to particles to neutralize them.

Dusts are tiny solid particles scattered or suspended in the air. The particles are “inorganic” or “organic,” depending on the source of the dust. Inorganic dusts can come from grinding metals or minerals such as rock or soil. Examples of inorganic dusts are silica, asbestos, and coal.

Organic dusts originate from plants or animals. An example of organic dust is dust that arises from handling grain. These dusts can contain a great number of substances. Aside from the vegetable or animal component, organic dusts may also contain fungi or microbes and the toxic substances given off by microbes. For example, histoplasmosis, psittacosis and Q Fever are diseases that people can get if they breathe in organic that are infected with a certain microorganisms.

Dusts can also come from organic chemicals (e.g., dyes, pesticides). However, in this OSH Answers document, we are only considering dust particles that cause fibrosis or allergic reactions in the lungs. We are not including chemical dusts that cause other acute toxic effects, nor long term effects such as cancer for example.

What are the reactions of the lungs to dust?
The way the respiratory system responds to inhaled particles depends, to a great extent, on where the particle settles. For example, irritant dust that settles in the nose may lead to rhinitis, an inflammation of the mucous membrane. If the particle attacks the larger air passages, inflammation of the trachea (tracheitis) or the bronchi (bronchitis) may be seen.

The most significant reactions of the lung occur in the deepest parts of this organ.

Particles that evade elimination in the nose or throat tend to settle in the sacs or close to the end of the airways. But if the amount of dust is large, the macrophage system may fail. Dust particles and dust-containing macrophages collect in the lung tissues, causing injury to the lungs.

The amount of dust and the kinds of particles involved influence how serious the lung injury will be. For example, after the macrophages swallow silica particles, they die and give off toxic substances. These substances cause fibrous or scar tissue to form. This tissue is the body’s normal way of repairing itself. However, in the case of crystalline silica so much fibrous tissue and scarring form that lung function can be impaired. The general name for this condition for fibrous tissue formation and scarring is fibrosis. The particles which cause fibrosis or scarring are called fibrogenic. When fibrosis is caused by crystalline silica, the condition is called silicosis.”

For more information please follow the link above to read the full article
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Have a great day! Chris

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Canadian government asked to make formal apology to asbestos victims

Canadian government asked to make formal apology to asbestos victims

By – Kathleen Ruff, RightOnCanada.ca, March 20, 2018

RightOnCanada has called on the the Canadian government to make a formal apology to asbestos victims in Canada and overseas for having concealed for decades the hazardousness of asbestos and promoted its use.

The Canadian government is holding consultations with Canadian organisations and businesses until March 22 to get their comments on the government’s proposed regulations to ban asbestos and asbestos-containing products.

In its submission, RightOnCanada asks the government to set up a national fund to compensate victims of asbestos, include asbestos mining wastes under its regulations, as recommended by all 18 Quebec Directors of Public Health, and set up a National Asbestos panel to develop and implement a national strategy to protect Canadians from asbestos harm. It calls on the government to practice transparency and to create whistle-blower protection.

It asks the Canadian government to clearly prohibit the export of any asbestos or any asbestos-containing product.

Read the full submission here: http://rightoncanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Federal-asbestos-regulations-submission-Kathleen-Ruff-March-20-2018.pdf

Asbestos

This article below is from the University of Oregon – Why is asbestos so dangerous?

“When is Asbestos Dangerous?
The most common way for asbestos fibers to enter the body is through breathing. In fact, asbestos containing material is not generally considered to be harmful unless it is releasing dust or fibers into the air where they can be inhaled or ingested. Many of the fibers will become trapped in the mucous membranes of the nose and throat where they can then be removed, but some may pass deep into the lungs, or, if swallowed, into the digestive tract. Once they are trapped in the body, the fibers can cause health problems.

Asbestos is most hazardous when it is friable. The term “friable” means that the asbestos is easily crumbled by hand, releasing fibers into the air. Sprayed on asbestos insulation is highly friable. Asbestos floor tile is not.

Asbestos-containing ceiling tiles, floor tiles, undamaged laboratory cabinet tops, shingles, fire doors, siding shingles, etc. will not release asbestos fibers unless they are disturbed or damaged in some way. If an asbestos ceiling tile is drilled or broken, for example, it may release fibers into the air. If it is left alone and not disturbed, it will not.

Damage and deterioration will increase the friability of asbestos-containing materials. Water damage, continual vibration, aging, and physical impact such as drilling, grinding, buffing, cutting, sawing, or striking can break the materials down making fiber release more likely.

Health Effects
Because it is so hard to destroy asbestos fibers, the body cannot break them down or remove them once they are lodged in lung or body tissues. They remain in place where they can cause disease.

There are three primary diseases associated with asbestos exposure:

Asbestosis
Lung Cancer
Mesothelioma
Asbestosis

Asbestosis is a serious, chronic, non-cancerous respiratory disease. Inhaled asbestos fibers aggravate lung tissues, which cause them to scar. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath and a dry crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling. In its advanced stages, the disease may cause cardiac failure.

There is no effective treatment for asbestosis; the disease is usually disabling or fatal. The risk of asbestosis is minimal for those who do not work with asbestos; the disease is rarely caused by neighborhood or family exposure. Those who renovate or demolish buildings that contain asbestos may be at significant risk, depending on the nature of the exposure and precautions taken.

Lung Cancer
Lung cancer causes the largest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure. The incidence of lung cancer in people who are directly involved in the mining, milling, manufacturing and use of asbestos and its products is much higher than in the general population. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are coughing and a change in breathing. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent chest pains, hoarseness, and anemia.

People who have been exposed to asbestos and are also exposed to some other carcinogen — such as cigarette smoke — have a significantly greater risk of developing lung cancer than people who have only been exposed to asbestos. One study found that asbestos workers who smoke are about 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than people who neither smoke nor have been exposed to asbestos.

Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that most often occurs in the thin membrane lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen, and (rarely) heart. About 200 cases are diagnosed each year in the United States. Virtually all cases of mesothelioma are linked with asbestos exposure. Approximately 2 percent of all miners and textile workers who work with asbestos, and 10 percent of all workers who were involved in the manufacture of asbestos-containing gas masks, contract mesothelioma.

People who work in asbestos mines, asbestos mills and factories, and shipyards that use asbestos, as well as people who manufacture and install asbestos insulation, have an increased risk of mesothelioma. So do people who live with asbestos workers, near asbestos mining areas, near asbestos product factories or near shipyards where use of asbestos has produced large quantities of airborne asbestos fibers.

Other Cancers
Evidence suggests that cancers in the esophagus, larynx, oral cavity, stomach, colon and kidney may be caused by ingesting asbestos. For more information on asbestos-related cancers, contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society.

Determining Factors
Three things seem to determine your likelihood of developing one of these asbestos related diseases:

The amount and duration of exposure – the more you are exposed to asbestos and the more fibers that enter your body, the more likely you are to develop asbestos related problems. While there is no “safe level” of asbestos exposure, people who are exposed more frequently over a long period of time are more at risk.

Whether or not you smoke – if you smoke and you have been exposed to asbestos, you are far more likely to develop lung cancer than someone who does not smoke and who has not been exposed to asbestos. If you work with asbestos or have been exposed to it, the first thing you should do to reduce your chances of developing cancer is to stop smoking.

Age – cases of mesothelioma have occurred in the children of asbestos workers whose only exposures were from the dust brought home on the clothing of family members who worked with asbestos. The younger people are when they inhale asbestos, the more likely they are to develop mesothelioma. This is why enormous efforts are being made to prevent school children from being exposed.
Because each exposure to asbestos increases the body burden of asbestos fibers, it is very important to reduce and minimize your exposure.”

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Hope you found this informative!  Enjoy your day. Chris

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

 

Dust and Farming

A couple of good articles on the problems of dust in the agricultural sector.

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Dust particles in livestock facilities – Phys Org – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – https://phys.org/news/2017-07-particles-livestock-facilities.html

“A beam of sunlight streams into your living room, illuminating a Milky Way of dust particles hanging in the air. Although the air looks thick, those visible dust particles are so big that they can’t reach the smallest branches of the respiratory tree in your lungs. It’s the dust we can’t see—smaller than 2.5 microns, called PM 2.5—that can cause allergies and other respiratory problems.

Inside livestock facilities, the dust particles are much more abundant than in a living room, and can cause pulmonary problems for anyone who breathes the air, including the animals. A recent research project on air quality characterizes the dust particles found in different livestock facilities. For the study, the air was sampled for three consecutive days in each of three types of animal production facilities—poultry, dairy, and swine.

“If you’re going to regulate air quality, first you have to measure it. And before you measure it, you have to characterize how to measure it and what’s in it,” says Richard Gates, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at University of Illinois and member of the research project team.

Gates says not all livestock facility dust is alike. “In order to manage or regulate the dust, we first have to understand its characteristics. Until we have that, we can’t make models that describe the emission from a building, how much of it drops out within 100 yards of a building, and how much of it travels much further from the facility.”

According to Gates, laying hen facilities are recognized as a very dusty environment; a dairy facility is a very open, airy environment with lots of fresh air; and a swine-finishing building, although not considered to be terribly dusty, is actually the worst overall in dust level, especially at the most dangerous particulate matter (PM) level.

“Of the three types of livestock buildings, swine facilities tip the scales in terms of having the highest amount of the dangerously small, PM 2.5 size particulate matter—significantly higher,” Gates says.

Anecdotally, Gates says a high percentage of people who work in livestock facilities, over time, develop respiratory issues. “They should be wearing protective masks at all times. On bigger farms it’s a requirement,” he says. “In the early days of raising livestock, masks weren’t available, and in developing countries, availability is still an issue. And pigs are affected, too. One of the major challenges in swine production is keeping them healthy without the use of antibiotics, and respiratory stress is one of the health issues.”

The lead researcher on the project, Ehab Mostafa, collected the data at livestock facilities in Germany, which are believed to be comparable in terms of dust to facilities in the United States, and conducted the first analysis. Mostafa also developed a sedimentation cylinder to measure the particulate matter. Air is blown into the top of the cylinder. Then a particle counter inside measures the density and weight-per-surface area of the particulates as they fall to the bottom.

“Interestingly, the particles are not all spherical,” Gates says. “Without scientific ways to characterize their shapes, then every model that we use to predict how many there are and how to measure them and their fate are wrong – because the models have been assuming spherical particles. We’ve known that they couldn’t all be perfectly round, but this study demonstrates you can use these derived values and improve predictions for more accurate models by accounting for differences in properties at different sizes and types of particulate matter.”

Gates says this research is a rigorous scientific approach to characterizing these particles. The information will be used as input for models to discover the fate of the dust as it leaves the building and its effect on the external environment.

“There are important outcomes from this research,” Gates says. “One is to characterize what’s going on in these three types of facilities. Then, with that information, we can compare it to what we already have for health standards for humans and animals. For example OSHA has an 8-hour exposure limit for PM 2.5.”

The study, “Physical properties of particulate matter from animal houses—empirical studies to improve emission modelling,” is published in Environmental Science and Pollution Research.”
More information: Ehab Mostafa et al. Physical properties of particulate matter from animal houses—empirical studies to improve emission modelling, Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2016). DOI: 10.1007/s11356-016-6424-8
Journal reference: Environmental Science and Pollution Research

Provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dust and Farming

Health Hazards In Agriculture – An Emerging Issue  – National Ag Safety Database – By Bradley K Rein – http://nasdonline.org/1246/d001050/health-hazards-in-agriculture-an-emerging-issue.html

“Perhaps more than any other occupational group, agricultural workers are exposed to a tremendous variety of environmental hazards that are potentially harmful to their health and well-being. Farmers and farm workers suffer from increased rates of respiratory diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, skin disorders, certain cancers, chemical toxicity, and heat-related illnesses. There are precautions that can be taken to minimize or eliminate these potential hazards.

RESPIRATORY HAZARDS

Farming situations present several respiratory hazards to farm workers. Exposure to these hazards has been linked to excessive coughing and congestion in 20 to 90 percent of farm workers and families. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis were observed in as many as 50 percent of swine confinement workers and grain handlers.
Organic Dust Toxic Syndrome (ODTS) is a common respiratory illness manifested by temporary influenza-like illness with fever, headache, and muscle aches and pains. Although much less common than ODTS, Farmer’s Lung is an allergic reaction caused by inhaling dust from moldy hay, straw, and grain. Dairy and grain farmers are the most common victims. The months when moldy crops are handled indoors are the most dangerous. For those who are susceptible, repeated exposure damages lung tissue, ca sing shortness of breath and a growing inability to perform strenuous work. Victims eventually may find it a struggle even to get out of a chair.

Dust from moldy hay, grain, and silage can also cause ODTS, which has symptoms resembling Farmer’s Lung. However, ODTS does not produce long-term illness or cause permanent lung damage.

Nuisance dusts and gases also are hazards. Suspended dust particles not containing spores from moldy organic matter are considered nuisance dusts. Repeated exposure can turn portions of the lung into hardened, nonfunctioning tissue and cause chronic bronchitis and occupational asthma.

A variety of disabling gases, including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia (NH3), Carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4), are produced during many routine operations. Exposure to low levels of NO2, H2S, or NH3 will produce lung and eye irritations, dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches. High levels of H2S, particularly, and NO2, secondarily, will quickly render a worker unconscious and death will follow.

The best prevention of respiratory disease is to wear a respirator approved by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Air-purifying respirators remove contaminants from the air, but can only be used in environments with enough oxygen to sustain life. Supplied-air respirators must be used in oxygen-limited environments, or in environments with acute toxic gas levels.

NOISE

Agricultural noise is another common health hazard on the farm. It is estimated that 10 percent of U.S. farm workers are exposed to average daily noise levels above 85 decibels, which is the “action” level at which hearing conservation program are required for industrial workers. Studies at the Universities of Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Iowa found that noise-induced hearing loss has been found to affect a quarter of younger farmers, and at least 50 percent of older farmers. Significant numbers develop a communication handicap by age 30.
Prolonged exposure to excessive noise, such as that produced by tractors, combines, choppers, grain dryers, and chainsaws, can cause permanent hearing loss unless noise-control measures are taken. Ears provide two warning signs for overexposure: temporary threshold shift (TTF) and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). The two types of hearing protection available are ear muffs and ear plugs. Ear muffs are more effective, but the level of protection varies due to differences in size, shape, seal material, shell mass, and type of suspension. Ear plugs may be custom fined or preformed rubber, plastic, or foam inserts. Preformed inserts are cheaper, but ear plugs properly inserted into the ear and custom-fitted by trained personnel are more effective because the ear canal shape may vary.

If you are continually exposed to loud noises, you should have periodic hearing tests. This test, called an audiogram, will reveal signs of hearing loss. If a hearing loss is noted, take steps to reduce exposure, thereby eliminating further damage to your ears.”

Please follow the link above to read the full article.

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Enjoy your day! Chris

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Mining News

Below are some interesting articles regarding Anglo American’s commitment to sustainability and cleaning up mines…………..

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Anglo commits to ambitious sustainability strategyhttp://www.miningweekly.com/article/anglo-commits-to-ambitious-sustainability-strategy-2018-03-14

BY: MARTIN CREAMER

“JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified mining company Anglo American has outlined an innovative approach to three major areas of sustainability – the environment, community development, and driving greater trust and transparency across the mining industry.

Its ambitious goals include:

  • Creating five jobs off-site for every job on-site in its host communities;
  • Working with government to ensure every school in host communities performs amongst the top 20% of state schools in the country;
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30%;
  • Improving energy efficiency by 30%; and
  • Reducing freshwater abstraction by 50% in water-scarce regions.

“Delivering on these commitments will transform the way Anglo American does business,” said Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani in a release to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.

Presenting a different picture of the future of mining, the sustainability strategy commits to keeping people and the environment safe, supporting excellent education and using collaborative regional development to provide sustainable benefits for host communities.

“The financial benefits to our business by 2030 are expected to be significant, including from substantially reduced energy and water costs. At the same time, we expect our innovative approach and the technologies we are developing to open up new mineral resource opportunities for us over the medium term,” Cutifani added.

The sustainability strategy acknowledges metals and minerals as precious ingredients that enable and celebrate many aspects of modern life.

“If Anglo American is to play its part in creating a sustainable future for the world and improving the lives of all of us who live here, then we must be prepared to challenge our business and ourselves, by re-imagining mining,” he said.

Anglo American’s sustainability strategy is part of FutureSmart Mining™, a blueprint for a safer, more sustainable and efficient business that is better harmonised with the needs of host communities.

This strategy, which has been developed following a robust consultation process, is in alignment with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Mining News

Anglo says cleaning up mining will earn it billions in profithttp://www.miningweekly.com/article/anglo-says-cleaning-up-mining-will-earn-it-billions-in-profit-2018-03-14/rep_id:3650

BY: BLOOMBERG

“LONDON – Mining is a dirty business, but Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani says it doesn’t have to be.

The miner of everything from copper to diamonds to iron ore is overhauling its sustainability targets, and predicts it can earn an extra $9-billion through 2030 by improving the way it mines and boosting relations with governments and communities.

In an industry that rips up massive areas of pristine landscape while consuming valuable water and pumping out dust and pollution, companies that don’t become better corporate citizens will face higher costs, mounting opposition and lose out on new deposits, Cutifani said in an interview.

“We need access to resources,” he said. “If you don’t have good relationships you don’t get access to ground; if you don’t have access to ground you can’t develop a mine.”

Companies around the world are facing increased pressure to improve, and not just from ethical investors. Cutifani was among CEOs who received an open letter from BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink in January in which he called for companies to set out strategies for long-term, sustainable growth.

POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION
“To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society,” Fink wrote.

Anglo’s nine new targets range from reducing freshwater usage by 50% and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, to less tangible goals such as improving accountability and policy advocacy.

The company will spend about $200-million a year on the sustainability goals, which also include health, education and livelihood programs, such as creating five jobs in a region where it operates for every direct employee.

Anglo has worked hard to reposition itself in the past decades. Once the corporate face of apartheid South Africa, the company was the country’s largest conglomerate and owned everything from banks to paper factories. In recent years, it’s managed to avoid the type of controversy that embroiled rivals like BHP Billiton and Vale, which had licences to a Brazilian iron-ore project stripped after a dam rupture that killed 19, or Rio Tinto, which is facing corruption and fraud probes related to African mines.

Yet things still go wrong. Just yesterday, the company halted some operations at its iron-ore mine in Brazil after a pipeline rupture. Anglo says it’s trying to identify the cause of the spill and guarantee that it did not inflict serious environmental damage to the surrounding area and a nearby water supply.

THERMAL COAL
Anglo also remains one of the world’s biggest producers of thermal coal, the dirtiest fuel, which has become a focus for many of the investors who are likely to be impressed by the company’s ambitious targets.

Anglo said during the depths of the last commodity slump in early 2016 that it would sell out of coal, but has reversed course after a dramatic rebound in prices. While production has fallen more than 20% in the past five years, including for steelmaking coal, the fuel was still the single biggest contributor to the company’s earnings last year, adding almost $3-billion.

“It’s an issue,” said Cutifani. “For many developing countries it remains an important source of energy. We will not be increasing our footprint, but you can’t just dump people who live and depend on thermal coal.””

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Trust you enjoyed the read. Regards, Chris

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Harmful Toxins in Air

There are a lot of toxins in the air that can cause lung damage, here is an article describing the top 5 and then below is an article from the same source with tips for keeping your lungs clean.  I hope you find these articles informative and helpful.  They were both written by Dr. Edward Group (DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) and sourced from Global Healing Centre.

The Top 5 Harmful Toxins in Airhttps://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/the-top-5-harmful-toxins-in-air/

“A major part of how healthy we are comes from how clean the air we breathe really is. Fumes and carcinogens from factories and automobile exhaust, and tons of other harmful gases are all around us. These are dangerous molecules to inhale, and they also decrease the actual amount of oxygen in the air. Now, consider this: most of our airborne toxins are inhaled while we’re inside because we spend most of our lives indoors whether it’s in offices, homes, schools, churches.

And since that’s where most of our time is spent – at home, in stores, restaurants and more, it’s important to be aware of what’s in that air you breathe most often: smoke, pet dander, paint fumes, mold, mildew and possibly billions of microorganisms.

Oxygen is the major component that the body uses to neutralize toxins and remove them from the body. The air we breathe is low in oxygen content when it is polluted with carcinogens; toxic factory and auto exhaust fumes, and many other things. We are suffocating. “Dirty” air presents less than adequate oxygen levels for your body to perform its tasks optimally. That means less oxygen and more toxins to the bloodstream, and the colon, which is responsible for eliminating toxins from your body.

There is very little chance that you or a group of you will make any significant changes in the way that factories burn off waste, or change the way that car manufacturers design their exhaust systems in a significantly short amount of time. Because most of your toxic molecules are inhaled while inside anyway, we are going to focus the top 5 toxins from indoor air.

1. Tobacco Smoke
Almost no one argues against the fact that cigarettes are bad. Not anymore, anyway. And unfortunately for us all, we now know that quitting doesn’t save us all. We know that there is danger in smoking. We are now attending to the secondhand smoke dangers as well. Secondhand smoke is a real problem that requires uncomfortable ways of living in order to compensate for it.

For many years smoking has been linked to lung cancer. It’s also been linked to colorectal cancer. Polyps become enlarged and irritated with secondhand smoke inhalation. The larger the polyp, the greater is the risk of it metastasizing into cancer. People are paying attention to the dangers of secondhand smoke. This awareness is the reason that you now experience ‘SMOKE FREE’ restaurants and workplaces and homes. When you inhale cigarette smoke, you are breathing in tar and other additives which are difficult to expel from your body. In the human body they can cause cancer, in children, there is the added danger of causing damage to their still-developing organs.

2. Paint Fumes
The dangers of lead and mercury added to paints have been assessed and addressed by eliminating them from paint formulas. Some paints on the market give off fumes called Volatile Organic Compounds which is unsafe for inhaling. Even with a high vapor pressure causing it to dissipate quickly, there are times when it is inhaled. Over time, the buildup of these VOC’s causes toxins to build up in the body which can lead to headaches, loss of coordination, liver damage and other disorders. You should know that there is a danger to breathing in these fumes even outdoors. However, the greater threat is indoors, which is why many paints come with the warning that you should use them only in well ventilated areas.

An even better solution is to buy paints that do not contain these compounds. Know too that the fumes don’t come only from some paints. The EPA has a long list of common products that emit these harmful fumes, such as, minerals, varnishes, enamels, lacquers, stains, latex, and water colors. It really would be an impossible task to eliminate the threat from all products that contain these volatile compounds. For that reason you should make the effort to reduce them in your home by using VOC-Free Paints.

3. Micro-Organisms
According to the EPA, biological contaminants are “living organisms or their derivatives,” and they include mold, mildew, bacteria, dust mites, animal dander and viruses. These organisms build up in the body to toxic levels and they can cause respiratory problems among other things. Children, elderly and people with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to airborne biological contaminants.

4. Pet Dander
Pet dander is dead animal skin cells, reminiscent of human dandruff, which sloughs off naturally as the animal’s skin becomes dry. These skin cells are found in concentrated amounts around the animal’s sleeping area. Once airborne these particles can be inhaled or swallowed. It’s estimated that 30% of allergy sufferers are pet owners. So they definitely need to reduce the airborne particles from their pets.

5. Mold & Mildew
Mold is naturally occurring outdoors. It’s only natural that some of the spores will get into your home just as a matter of moving in and out. When they enter and begin to multiply then there is the danger of inhaling dangerous quantities. The threats from the spores of mold and mildew can include: respiratory ailments, headaches, nausea and diarrhea. Mold found in damp areas like bathrooms are generally referred to as mildew. These spores are unclean and unsightly. When you go in and scrub them away, you are actually making them airborne and that’s when there’s a chance that you will inhale them.

I highly recommend cleansing the air in your home with the REME+ advanced air purification unit. I also suggest regular lung cleansing with a product such as Allertrex®.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.”

Harmful Toxins in Air

6 Tips for Keeping Your Lungs Cleanhttps://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/6-tips-for-keeping-your-lungs-clean/

“Keeping your body clean on the inside is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy and, as such, many people regularly perform colon cleansing and liver cleansing routines. Harmful organism cleanses and toxic metal cleanses are also common, beneficial, and recommended. But did you know there are measures you can take to keep your lungs clean too?

It’s important to have healthy lungs, as a pair, they’re one of the most active organs in the body and certainly one of the most important. We can go weeks without food, and days without water… but not very long without air. Here are 6 easy tips you can implement right away to keep your lungs at peak performance.

6 Tips for Keeping Your Lungs Clean
1. Don’t Smoke
This one is a no-brainer, the detrimental effect of cigarette smoke on the lungs has been known and documented for over a hundred years… yet some people continue to do it. Smoking deposits harmful and obstructive tar in the lungs, not to mention a phone-book sized list of chemicals. The chemicals in cigarette smoke, like carbon monoxide, inhibit mechanical lung function and contribute to the development of big, big problems like emphysema and cancer. Smoking is bad for your health and it’s bad for everyone around you. There’s no need to rehash what we all know, let’s just shut the book on this one- don’t smoke!

2. Perform Lung Cleansing Exercises
Did you know breathing exercises can strengthen your lungs and help clear toxins? Just as bicep curls will strengthen your arms, deep breathing exercises will strengthen your lungs and clear your airways. Deep breathing provides a secondary benefit in that they deliver more nourishing oxygen to your body. Shallow breathing is often a product of weak lung function or sedentary habits. It’s a bad habit and if you’re guilty, stop! Once or twice a day, find a quiet place and perform the deep breathing exercises that tap into the full capacity of your lungs!

3. Eat Lung Cleansing Foods
Did you know pistachios, plantain leaf, and cayenne pepper are all foods that promote healthy lung function? Pistachios contain gamma-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E that is believed to reduce risk of lung cancer. Plantain leaf, popular in Latin American cuisine, is useful suppressing mucous and may help respiratory problems that involve congestion. Cayenne peppers are potent foods whose benefits are equal to their heat. Cayenne has been shown to relieve irritation which is great news when you’re suffering from coughs and sore throats.

4. Reduce Your Indoor Air Pollution Exposure
Indoor environments can be contaminated with over 1,000 species of mold and mildew. Pet dander is a common indoor pollutant that is notorious for antagonizing allergies. Synthetic, chemical-based cleaning products are toxic substances with toxic fumes, just check the warning label! (and make your own natural alternatives instead). Upholstery, carpet, paint, and building materials are also all common sources of indoor pollution. The indoor air pollution problem is compounded by the fact that home construction has become more airtight in the last 30 years which traps pollutants inside. A drafty house may not seem the most efficient when the electricity bill arrives but there is something to be said about the constant airflow. Aside from ridding your home of the sources of pollution, air exchange systems and indoor air purification systems are good proactive approaches to purifying the air in your home.

5. Make a Castor Oil Pack for Lung Cleansing
Castor oil packs are easy to make at home and work great for drawing toxins out of the body! Castor oil has long been appreciated as a general health tonic and is believed to stimulate lymphatic circulation and waste elimination. Castor oil packs are placed on the chest, perhaps similar to vapor rubs, and are thought to break up congestion and toxins. Easy, effective, and inexpensive, try it!

6. Take Lung Cleansing Herbs
Plants like oregano, orange peel, elecampane, eucalyptus, peppermint, lungwort, osha root, chaparral, and lobelia have been used for hundreds of years, if not longer, as natural remedies for respiratory conditions. Individual herbal tinctures and extracts are available, or, rather than purchasing and taking each separately, Allertrex® is a natural lung cleansing supplement that contains organic and wildcrafted herbs known to support respiratory ailments, help with normal lung functions, and cleanse your lungs of harmful agents.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

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Regards, Chris Loans

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Pollution From Construction

Here is an article from Sustainable Build written by Jennifer Gray regarding pollution from construction – I hope you enjoy the read!

“The construction industry is a major source of pollution, responsible for around 4% of particulate emissions, more water pollution incidents than any other industry, and thousands of noise complaints every year. Although construction activities also pollute the soil, the main areas of concern are: air, water and noise pollution.

Air Pollution
Construction activities that contribute to air pollution include: land clearing, operation of diesel engines, demolition, burning, and working with toxic materials. All construction sites generate high levels of dust (typically from concrete, cement, wood, stone, silica) and this can carry for large distances over a long period of time. Construction dust is classified as PM10 – particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter, invisible to the naked eye.
Research has shown that PM10 penetrate deeply into the lungs and cause a wide range of health problems including respiratory illness, asthma, bronchitis and even cancer. Another major source of PM10 on construction sites comes from the diesel engine exhausts of vehicles and heavy equipment. This is known as diesel particulate matter (DPM) and consists of soot, sulphates and silicates, all of which readily combine with other toxins in the atmosphere, increasing the health risks of particle inhalation.

Diesel is also responsible for emissions of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide. Noxious vapours from oils, glues, thinners, paints, treated woods, plastics, cleaners and other hazardous chemicals that are widely used on construction sites, also contribute to air pollution.

Water Pollution
Sources of water pollution on building sites include: diesel and oil; paint, solvents, cleaners and other harmful chemicals; and construction debris and dirt. When land is cleared it causes soil erosion that leads to silt-bearing run-off and sediment pollution. Silt and soil that runs into natural waterways turns them turbid, which restricts sunlight filtration and destroys aquatic life.

Surface water run-off also carries other pollutants from the site, such as diesel and oil, toxic chemicals, and building materials like cement. When these substances get into waterways they poison water life and any animal that drinks from them. Pollutants on construction sites can also soak into the groundwater, a source of human drinking water. Once contaminated, groundwater is much more difficult to treat than surface water.

Noise Pollution
Construction sites produce a lot of noise, mainly from vehicles, heavy equipment and machinery, but also from people shouting and radios turned up too loud. Excessive noise is not only annoying and distracting, but can lead to hearing loss, high blood pressure, sleep disturbance and extreme stress. Research has shown that high noise levels disturb the natural cycles of animals and reduces their usable habitat.
Measures to Prevent Pollution
Good construction site practice can help to control and prevent pollution. The first step is to prepare environmental risk assessments for all construction activities and materials likely to cause pollution. Specific measures can then be taken to mitigate these risks:

  • To prevent erosion and run-off, minimise land disturbance and leave maximum vegetation cover.
  • Control dust through fine water sprays used to dampen down the site.
  • Screen the whole site to stop dust spreading, or alternatively, place fine mesh screening close to the dust source.
  • Cover skips and trucks loaded with construction materials and continually damp down with low levels of water.
  • Cover piles of building materials like cement, sand and other powders, regularly inspect for spillages, and locate them where they will not be washed into waterways or drainage areas.
  • Use non-toxic paints, solvents and other hazardous materials wherever possible
  • Segregate, tightly cover and monitor toxic substances to prevent spills and possible site contamination.
  • Cover up and protect all drains on site .
  • Collect any wastewater generated from site activities in settlement tanks, screen, discharge the clean water, and dispose of remaining sludge according to environmental regulations.
  • Use low sulphur diesel oil in all vehicle and equipment engines, and incorporate the latest specifications of particulate filters and catalytic converters.
  • No burning of materials on site.
  • Reduce noise pollution through careful handling of materials; modern, quiet power tools, equipment and generators; low impact technologies; and wall structures as sound shields.

Pressure to Clean Up
The UK Environment Agency and other government bodies are putting increasing pressure on construction companies to reduce pollution and conform to environmental regulations. In the past the pollution fines have been low and environmental regulations slack, and it could have been perceived as cheaper to pollute than to prevent pollution. This situation is now changing, and enforcement of environmental regulations is not only very expensive but can be irreversibly damaging to the reputation of a firm. Measures to reduce and control pollution are relatively inexpensive and cost-effective, and the construction industry needs to incorporate these into an environmental management strategy. By employing these practices, the construction industry is well positioned to clean up its act. Find out more about ecofriendly construction methods.”
Pollution From Construction

Another article concerning the same issue is posted below.  This one was found at Environmental Pollution Centers

Construction Sites Pollution

“Construction sites are found both within urban and rural areas, often in the close proximity of homes. Due to their proximity to homes and the materials used, construction sites may generate home pollution. This involves air, water, soil, and/or noise pollution. Additionally, construction work may reveal existing subsurface pollution. In such situation, construction work is stopped and costly remediation is needed. Thus, construction work may generate construction pollution problems affecting both homeowners and construction site owners. Moreover, construction workers (especially in the past) may be exposed to pollution. These aspects will be discussed in more details below, along with tips and measures to prevent and face pollution, as well as to recover the costs.

If you live in a home close to a construction site (i.e., within 1 block or less) you may face the following type of pollution:

Air pollution – the air you breathe may be polluted due to the construction work. Apart from the noise, poor air quality is the most immediate pollution effect you may experience from a construction site. This means that airborne contaminants including contaminated particulate matter and volatile compounds are spreading around (mostly carried by wind) in the surrounding neighborhood (the main wind direction will influence the area most affected by air pollution around a construction site). Contaminants spreading around in air can travel large distances in a short time. The main construction contaminants that spread around by wind include PM10 (particulate matter with a diameter less than 10 microns generating polluted dust), PAHs bound to particulate matter, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), asbestos, gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.
Water pollution – the surface water runoff and the groundwater close to a construction site become polluted with various materials used in the construction work. As described for air pollution above, the following construction contaminants can pollute the water: VOCs, paints, glues, diesel, oils, other toxic chemicals, and cement. The immediate effect is creating turbidity in the runoff water and affected surface and groundwater (since some of the runoff water may infiltrate in the subsurface reaching the groundwater. In fact, both groundwaters below your home and surface runoff close to your home may constitute a source of pollution emanating from the construction sites. Domestic animals and pets may drink contaminated water and soil may become contaminated too. Additionally, once the groundwater below your home becomes contaminated, it may affect you in the following ways: through direct consumption if you use water from a property well, and indirectly by affecting the quality of your indoor air (vapor intrusion of the volatile contaminants from water). Overall, water pollution from construction sites is underestimated and has potential to generate severe environmental problems.
Soil pollution – soil at and around a construction site may become contaminated due to air transport followed by deposition of construction contaminants (listed at air pollution) as well as water runoff of construction contaminants (as listed for water pollution). Soil may constitute a sink for pollutants and some of those may accumulate in soil and persist over longer periods of time (e.g., PAHs).
Noise pollution – noise is usually associated with construction work although modern preventive measures may substantially reduce the amount of noise (in the neighboring community). Noise may adversely affect your health, including effects such as stress, sleep disturbance, high blood pressure and even hearing loss.
Construction pollution involves the following main types of construction work:

Building construction pollution – represents the generation of construction contamination at sites where buildings are constructed which may involve also a demolition phase (if the construction site has an existing building)
Road construction pollution – represents the generation of construction contamination at sites where roads are built
Construction Pollution Prevention and Cost Recovery
Personal damage. From the perspective of the public, the best prevention is to spend as little time as possible outside (e.g., in your yard or balcony) close to a construction site during operation time. Additionally, having a rich vegetation around your home (and between the home and the construction site) will act as a natural filter for the generated pollution, reducing the amount of pollution you may come in contact with. So, planting in your yards or even potted plants in a balcony can help. The greener the better. Also, regular spraying of water around the home will reduce the amount of dust and exposure through inhalation, although the soil and water pollution may increase (but these are affecting you less directly than air!). However, if you believe you are already negatively impacted by a construction site in the vicinity, especially if you have been recently diagnosed with a medical condition involving the respiratory system, you may be entitled to compensation.
Property damage. From the perspective of the construction site owner / developer, you may be faced with building on polluted land (pollution could be discovered during construction excavation work). To prevent such situation, you should order a full land quality survey (environmental site assessment phase 1 and 2) before starting any construction work. However, if this is not possible and you are faced with building on polluted land, you may be able to recover remediation costs from the original polluters. In this situation, specialized forensic investigations and legal advice (using top specialized legal firms) are recommended.”

Hope you enjoyed the read!  Enjoy your day.

Regards, Chris

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Noise and Hearing Loss

When you work or live in a noisy environment you are susceptible to hearing damage and possibly even hearing loss.  Here are a couple of article that might be helpful in preventing this.

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The article below was source at Healthy Hearing

Noise Pollution: It Harms Your Health and Hearing

“Noise pollution isn’t good. It interferes with our ability to hear sounds of higher “quality,” though quality is in the ear of the beholder. Listening to a 6-year-old screech her way through “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” on a pint-sized violin might be ear agony to most, but to mom and dad, it’s music to their ears.

So, we all define noise differently, but we can agree on two basic facts. First, noise is unwanted (at least by some) and second; we live in a sea of sounds. Noise is all around us and there’s no escaping. When the wind blows, it makes a sound. And, if you’re playing a round of 18, that zephyr can sound like a typhoon after awhile, though you “get used to it.”

The fact is that noise is a form of pollution, but unlike the black smoke pouring out of coal-fired, generating plants, you can’t see noise, or taste it or find it on your clothes. It’s invisible, yet it’s the most widespread form of pollution we have, and that’s not a good distinction – most pervasive, insidious, dangerous pollution in our environment is not a badge of honor. Even so, most of us are not only unaware of noise pollution; most of us seek it out. Yep, most people like noise. They even pay money for it.

Noise Reduction at the Source

Now, who’d pay money for noise? Chances are, you have and you do.

When you go to the googolplex to watch the latest movie, you want to feel the explosions in your gut and experience the blast on your skin. Now, how much did you pay for that movie ticket?

What about iPods and MP3 players? Own one? Know someone who does? Well, those noise guns may not pollute the environment but they sure do pollute your ear canals and the rest of your hearing mechanism when not played at responsible listening levels.

We buy surround sound systems for home use to get the full experience of watching 34 commercials a day in surround sound and hi-def. We like our choppers to have a throaty throttle and our sports cars to purr loudly while idling.

Then there’s the general, background noise that bombards our ears throughout the day – at the office, on the factory floor, on the busy city sidewalk or in our favorite, albeit clamorous, bistros. Noise is everywhere. We can’t escape it, unless we want to live in a tent somewhere in the mountains without any contact. We like noise. It’s stimulating and adds to the richness of life.

Effects of Noise on Your Body
Let’s start with the expected. Noise damages the delicate hearing mechanism nature provides. Exposure to noise above 80 decibels (dB, the measurement of the loudness of noise and sound) is harmful dependent upon the exposure time. Here are some noise levels you might encounter:

live rock concert 120 dB
(150 dB for hair bands)
jet taking off 20 ft over your ears 120 dB
tympani (at the symphony) 106 dB
snowmobile or chain saw 100 dB
vacuum cleaner 70 dB
normal conversation 60 dB
dishwasher 60 dB

What else does this jumble of jangle do to us? Noise effects the entire body:

Noise increases blood pressure and the louder the noise, the higher the increase
Noise intensifies the effects of drugs, alcohol, aging and lethal carbon monoxide
Noise alters the heartbeat itself, and not for the better, by the way
Noise increases breathing rate, sometimes good, sometimes not so much
Noise disturbs digestion
Noise can cause upset stomach, ulcers, acid reflux and other stomach ailments
Noise can lead to pre-mature childbirth
Noise contributes to insomnia, even when the noise has stopped
Noise contributes to irritability, impatience and other blood-pressure-boosting emotions
We’ve all experienced it. We all know the effects. That ringing in your ears when you leave that rock concert? It’s called tinnitus by hearing professionals and can last multiple days, during which time the stressed hearing system tries to heal itself as best it can – but the fact is that once hearing loss occurs it almost never comes back.

And the effects are cumulative, which means they add up throughout a lifetime. So, every time you are exposed to dangerous levels of noise, your hearing is slowly wearing away. That’s part of the problem. Hearing loss is often gradual, taking place over years (but a little bit worse every day) and it’s painless.

So Are You Doomed to Have Hearing Loss?
No. In fact, you can enjoy healthy hearing for a long, long time, if you take steps to protect what hearing you have left.

Here’s what you do:

Increase your awareness of the noise around you, i.e. listen. You get through the day oblivious to noise because your brain has become so used to the sound that bombards your ear drums every second of every day. If there is a loud noise you are exposed to regularly, wear hearing protection when possible.
Protect what you’ve got. Sound levels below 80 dB are considered safe. No damage. But since you can’t measure sound levels of your MP3 or surround sound rig, just assume it’s too loud and drop the boost a notch or two. Your ears will thank you years from now.
Unplug daily. Regularly, too. If you’re an iPod addict, listen at normal, human levels for no more than 90 minutes a pop. Then unplug and give your ears time to heal themselves as best they can.
Consider purchasing noise-cancelling headphones. These headphones are idea when listening to music when in the presence of background noise. Studies have shown the more background noise that surrounds you the higher you will turn your music up. If you can block out the background noise with your headphones, you will be less likely to increase the volume. A worthy investment – great sound quality, great hearing protection.
Be aware of sounds in the workplace. If you are concerned you are being exposed to excessive noise day in and day out, discuss this with your employer and request they have the noise levels measured in your work environment.
Monitor recreational sound and use less of it. Recreational sound is noise you can eliminate or reduce. MP3 players and car radios are a few examples.
Cover your ears. So elementary but for sure a no-brainer. When you know you’re going to be exposed to loud noise, at the Fourth of July picnic, for example, cover your ears. That string of Black Cats may not be sustained noise, but those poppers put out a concussive force that strains the ears, so cover up your ears with your hands.
Wear protective gear around the house. A pair of foam ear plugs, available at any drugstore, will set you back a few bucks. Or, you can spend more for noise-cancelling headphones – on or over the ear. These bring you into a world of peace and quiet by electronically cancelling noise – unwanted sound waves. They’re great for household noise and power tools such as chain saws, leaf blowers and the lawn mower.
See a hearing professional. If you’ve increased the volume on your telephone or TV recently, good chance you’ve got something going on in there (or not). So, make an appointment with a hearing professional for a totally, 100% painless hearing evaluation.
You know it’s a noisy world. You live here. But there are things you can do to lessen the impact noise has on your entire body and psyche. Noise isn’t good. It’s ear pollution – and you don’t even know it’s there.

Go pro-active when it comes to protecting your hearing and the hearing of loved ones (kids are even more susceptible to hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noise so check those toys before you buy).

Take charge of what goes in your ear to ensure healthy hearing for years to come.”

Noise and Hearing Loss - Noise Pollution

Noise Pollution Effects on the Human BodyArticle sourced at Sound Acoustic Solutions – Posted by Gary Pressley on March 4, 2015
“Noise pollution is a serious issue that can have severe consequences on health. Noise pollution can affect the human body mainly in three different ways, Physical, Physiological and Psychological.
Physical effects of noise pollution are direct effects on a person’s health such as hearing loss or tinnitus. Most experts agree that exposure to sound more than 85 dB for hours is potentially dangerous. And it is estimated that 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels every day. To get an idea of the different decibel levels here is a listing of different decibel levels and the every day sounds that most reproduce that intensity level.

20dB Clock ticking
30dB Birdsong
40dB Quiet room
50dB Moderate rainfall
60dB Dishwasher
70dB Vacuum cleaner
80dB Alarm clock
90dB Lawnmower
100dB Pneumatic drill
110dB Rock music
120dB Car stereo
140dB Firearms
150dB Rock music peak

The cost of hearing aids in the US can range from $1,500 to $5,000. By comparison, a simple pair of ear plugs cost as little as $0.50 if bought in bulk. Being mindful of the noise around us and taking simple precautions such as ear plugs while mowing the lawn, and breaking up time exposed to noisy vacuums can help in the long run.

Physiological effects from noise pollution adversely affect health such as heightened blood pressure and stress. Research has shown that industrial workers regularly exposed to high noise levels have higher cases of nausea, headaches, argumentativeness, and changes in mood and anxiety. Based on the chart above, is your local landscaper wearing ear protection? Noise doesn’t just affect people during the day. Noise can affect sleep by causing restlessness and lowered REM. Studies of people that live near an airport report more stress headaches, increased blood pressure and overall being tense and edgy. Also, many studies have shown that children with chronic exposure to aircraft noise have reduced motivation and perform lower on standardized tests. It would be beneficial within a room to simply add a product like Silent Wrap to block out unwanted noises. Peace and serenity goes a long way to making the mind and body a happier place.

Psychological effects of noise pollution are distractions and annoyances which can be just as disruptive as physical and physiological effects on productivity. Studies have shown that worker productivity can be decreased after noise has been switched off depending on the length of time exposed. Higher frequency noise has been found to be more of a nuisance than lower frequency noise. For example, the low rumblings of traffic can be considered background noise although screechy noises from alarms or machinery are considered a call to action. Another example of the psychological effects of noise is that many field studies have shown that the stresses that humans face in day to day life add up to a greater combined effect than simply summing the individual stressors. A simple way of reducing or knocking down high-frequency noise is to add acoustic fiberglasses such as Silent Fiber boards or Silent Ceiling Black acoustical tiles. This simple addition can relieve stress and headaches and improve productivity and happiness.”

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Take care of your ears!  Regards Chris

Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

 

Dust and it’s Impact on Climate

Dust and its Impact on Earth’s Climate System – State of the planet
BY GISELA WINCKLER|JUNE 17, 2010

Most often, we think of dust simply as the stuff that accumulates on our windowsills, but those fine particles floating in the air play an important role in the global climate system.

Dust influences the radiative balance of the planet in two different ways, either directly by scattering and absorbing incoming solar radiation, or indirectly by changing the optical properties of clouds, themselves an important player in the climate system. Dust also contains iron, a limiting nutrient in many areas of the ocean, so when dust falls onto the ocean, it can act as a fertilizer for the growth of algae, or phytoplankton, which uses CO2. Dust not only affects climate, but also is influenced by it: its production, atmospheric transport and deposition are sensitive to climatic conditions.

During Earth’s history, dust has been strongly linked with climatic conditions: Ice cores and marine sediments tell us that the ice age world was much dustier than today’s world. Thus dust is both a driver and a passive recorder of climate change under different climatic regimes of the Earth’s past. However, its exact role in past climate change remains poorly constrained. Understanding the links between dust and climate in the past will be crucial to evaluate the future impacts of dust on the Earth’s climate system in a warming world.

Because dust affects and interacts with the climate system in so many different ways, a wide range of disciplines—atmospheric modelers, paleoclimatologists, geologists, ice core scientists, biogeochemists, chemical oceanographers, and many others – are required to evaluate its role and impact. The Lamont conference (DUSTSPEC: Dust records for a warming world), organized by Gisela Winckler (a researcher at Lamont and an adjunct professor at Columbia), Natalie Mahowald of Cornell, and Barbara Maher of Lancaster University, aimed to bring people from all those different, specialized fields together into one room.

Dust researchers from different realms of science have come together in the past—most notably, the DIRTMAP project, initiated in 2001, aggregated dust deposition data on land and in the ocean. It is a fabulous resource, but it is limited to two snapshots in time: the modern or late Holocene, and a snapshot from the Last Glacial Maximum (~20,000 years ago, when the planet was much colder than it is today), and certain areas of the planet are undersampled, like the Southern Ocean.


Scientists Warn Climate Change Could Bring the Dust Bowl Back Out of the History Books – Tom McKay – Gizmodo

If there’s anything that just about sums up the desperation of the Great Depression in one filthy package, it’s photos of the Dust Bowl, when over-farming resulted in roving dust storms choking large swathes of the Great Plains region. Now, scientists are projecting that climate change could bring those hardscrabble days to a dystopian landscape near you.

In a study published on July 17 in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory used satellite data from 2003-2015 to resolve some of the lingering uncertainty on prior dust activity models. Their research projects that “climate change will increase dust activity in the southern Great Plains from spring to fall in the late half of the twenty-first century – largely due to reduced precipitation, enhanced land surface bareness, and increased surface wind speed.”

In other words, deforestation and the mega-droughts which are increasingly becoming a feature of our changing climate are likely to create conditions ideal for the return of massive dust storms. On the flip side, the researchers projected a decrease in dust activity in the northern Great Plains during the spring due to “increased precipitation and reduced bareness.”

Exposure to the dust itself is, obviously, very unpleasant but is also linked to a wide variety of respiratory and other ailments, including the possibility of potentially deadly pathogens and agricultural chemicals like fertilizer and pesticide hitchhiking on the storms.

The original Dust Bowl accelerated the flight of hundreds of thousands of people from 19 states in the region; the storms were so bad cattle and residents choked from “dust pneumonia,” residents were forced to dust-proof homes and static electricity stalled cars and charged random metal objects.

Though the researchers noted the original Dust Bowl was caused in large part by rapid agricultural development of the Great Plains region combined with “improper” farming techniques like lack of irrigation or use of “dust mulch,” they wrote the “influences of land use on future dust emission are minor compared to climate change.”

The new data is merely preliminary, according to Princeton researcher Bing Pu, but it lays the groundwork for the climate community to gauge the level of the threat.

“Few existing climate models have captured the magnitude and variability of dust across North America,” Pu said in a statement on Princeton’s website. “… This is an early attempt to project future changes in dust activity in parts of the United States caused by increasing greenhouse gases. Our specific projections may provide an early warning on erosion control, and help improve risk management and resource planning.”

Dust on snow controls springtime river rise in West – Global Climate Change – By Carol Rasmussen,
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

A new study has found that dust, not spring warmth, controls the pace of spring snowmelt that feeds the headwaters of the Colorado River. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the amount of dust on the mountain snowpack controls how fast the Colorado Basin’s rivers rise in the spring regardless of air temperature, with more dust correlated with faster spring runoff and higher peak flows.

The finding is valuable for western water managers and advances our understanding of how freshwater resources, in the form of snow and ice, will respond to warming temperatures in the future. By improving knowledge of what controls the melting of snow, it improves understanding of the controls on how much solar heat Earth reflects back into space and how much it absorbs — an important factor in studies of weather and climate.

When snow gets covered by a layer of windblown dust or soot, the dark topcoat increases the amount of heat the snow absorbs from sunlight. Tom Painter of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has been researching the consequences of dust on snowmelt worldwide. This is the first study to focus on which has a stronger influence on spring runoff: warmer air temperatures or a coating of dust on the snow.

Windblown dust has increased in the U.S. Southwest as a result of changing climate patterns and human land-use decisions. With rainfall decreasing and more disturbances of the land, protective crusts on soil are removed and more bare soil is exposed. Winter and spring winds pick up the dusty soil and drop it on the Colorado Rockies to the northeast. Historical lake sediment analyses show there is currently an annual average of five to seven times more dust falling on the Rocky Mountain snowpack than there was before the mid-1800s.

Painter and colleagues looked at data on air temperature and dust in a mountain basin in southwestern Colorado from 2005 to 2014, and streamflow from three major tributary rivers that carry snowmelt from these mountains to the Colorado River. The Colorado River’s basin spans about 246,000 square miles (637,000 square kilometers) in parts of seven western states.

The researchers found that the effects of dust dominated the pace of the spring runoff even in years with unusually warm spring air temperatures. Conversely, there was almost no statistical correlation between air temperature and the pace of runoff.

“We found that when it’s clean, the rise to the peak streamflow is slower, and generally you get a smaller peak.” Painter said. “When the snowpack is really dusty, water just blasts out of the mountains.” The finding runs contrary to the widely held assumption that spring air temperature determines the likelihood of flooding.

Coauthor McKenzie Skiles, an assistant professor in the University of Utah Department of Geography, said that while the impacts of dust in the air, such as reduced air quality, are well known, the impacts of the dust once it’s been deposited on the land surface are not as well understood. “Given the reliance of the western U.S. on the natural snow reservoir, and the Colorado River in particular, it is critical to evaluate the impact of increasing dust deposition on the mountain snowpack,” she said.

Painter pointed out that the new finding doesn’t mean air temperatures in the region can be ignored in considering streamflows and flooding, especially in the future. “As air temperature continues to climb, it’s going to have more influence,” he said. Temperature controls whether precipitation falls as snow or as rain, for example, so ultimately it controls how much snow there is to melt. But, he said, “temperature is unlikely to control the variability in snowmelt rates. That will still be controlled by how dirty or clean the snowpack is.”

Skiles noted, “Dust on snow does not only impact the mountains that make up the headwaters of Colorado River. Surface darkening has been observed in mountain ranges all over the world, including the Alps and the Himalaya. What we learn about the role of dust deposition for snowmelt timing and intensity here in the western U.S. has global implications for improved snowmelt forecasting and management of snow water resources.”

The study, titled “Variation in rising limb of Colorado River snowmelt runoff hydrograph controlled by dust radiative forcing in snow,” was published today in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Coauthors are from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City; University of Colorado, Boulder; and University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.