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Don’t be complacent about frac sand impact

I read with great interest about the sand spill in Bashaw. The fact that children were playing in the sand is of concern, of course. What is even more concerning is the response of Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the medical officer. She states that one or two exposures to the sand would not cause any ill effects ... how is it possible to know that?

— There is no firm knowledge about the makeup of fracking fluid, a toxic soup of chemicals — a bit of an industry secret. This sand has been used with such a soup.

— There is no experience of how children are impacted by exposure to these types of toxins — whatever they are — apart altogether from the silica dust.

— If children were to present to the typical ER with a history like this, the approach taken would be to assess physically these kids, consult the relevant experts, run some tests — complete blood counts, for instance — and advise parents appropriately.

Based on The Precautionary Principle, there should have been some effort made to ensure that there was/is no impact from exposure. It appears that even this has not happened.

Dr. John O’Connor

Fort McMurray

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