Quarry operations have a profound effect on air contamination. Dust from quarrying can be found around the quarry and road where it is transported. Worse yet, the most dangerous particulate is transmitted for several miles. Dust is produced from crushing, screening, blasting, hauling, and wind blowing over stacked reserves. Dust under 10 microns is considered toxic but the most dangerous is the particulate matter we can’t see, under 2.5 microns, which can lodge deep in the chest, causing breathing difficulties and increased use of asthma medications. Long-term exposure can lead to lung cancer and reduce life expectancy.
Beyond the physical changes to the landscape, the daily barrage of noise, dust and exhaust produced by hundreds of dump trucks hauling aggregate can have serious effects on the health of people living nearby.