Fugitive Dust

Fugitive dust is a term that refers to small particles of dust created by or derived from all aspects of a mining operation. Fugitive dust is dangerous for several reasons:

  • It impacts both the personnel of the quarry site as well as the community and wildlife around the quarry.
  • Winds have a tremendous ability to spread fugitive dust, so much so that quarry activity should not take place when winds exceed 20 mph.
  • Blasting and conveying both create fugitive dust, as does mining site maintenance and mining traffic in and out of the quarry site. In other words, dust particles are a frequent, almost constant, result of quarry activity.
  • Quarries last for years and in some cases, decades. This represents continued long-term exposure to dust.
  • It is a Class 1a carcinogen. See excerpt below from the International Agency on Research for Cancer.
  • It is air pollution. It can can cause permanent lung problems including lung cancer.

The International Agency on Research for Cancer (IARC) lists the silica dust associated with mining as a Class 1a carcinogen. See excerpt below obtained from list of carcinogens published in 2012 by the IARC.

CAS No.AgentGroupVolumeYear
14808-60-7Silica dust, crystalline, in the form of quartz or cristobalite1Sup 7, 68, 100C2012
Source: International Agency on Research for Cancer, List of Class 1a Carcinogens

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