City of Kamloops Air Quality Survey

Posted by Michael Hewitt on February 1st, 2012 11:17am

The City of Kamloops Air Quality Survey is an interesting and informative document. It raises a number of air quality health-related issues which, in light of the proposal to develop a huge open pit mine with the city limits, should be treated very seriously. Dust is one form of particulate matter (PM), and the proposed mine will generate lots of it, much of which will be blown over Kamloops by the prevailing southwest wind. Dust from the mine could include such toxic elements as arsenic, chromium, uranium, lead, manganese, mercury, and strontium. It should be noted that the Abacus Feasibility Study states that the rock at Ajax can be reground as fine as between 8 to 17 μm, (micrometres, 1000th of a metre) with a median of 12 μm. That is finer than the diameter of a human hair, which ranges from 18 to 180 micrometres. The Air Quality Survey makes a few very interesting statements regarding PM, and ends with an almost poignant vision of Kamloops in the future, ("Where We Are Going") a vision which KAPA strongly supports, and which demonstrates  exactly why the proposed mine should not be approved. Here are some extracts from the Air Quality Review.


Environmental Health Effects

PM can cause degradation of organic and inorganic materials, resulting in corrosion, erosion, soiling and discoloration. PM refracts, reflects or absorbs light, creating a regional haze, reducing visibility. PM is directly related to broad issues of environmental concern, such as smog, acid deposition and climate change. Soil particles can be significant contributors to visibility impairment in areas susceptible to windblown dust.

Human Health Effects

There is no "safe" level of PM. Studies show that health improves when the ambient concentration of PM is reduced (NARSTO, 2004).

Certain population subgroups appear to have heightened susceptibility to PM, such as those with pre-existing cardiac and respiratory disease (seen frequently in smokers), asthmatics, and the elderly. Increases in adverse health outcomes have been observed for both short- and long-term exposures to PM. In humans, PM has been linked to cardio-respiratory diseases, decreased lung function, increased respiratory stress, bronchitis, and asthma, premature death."

Where We Are Going


"Imagine . . . in 2050, Kamloops, Canada's Tournament Capital, is an innovative, vibrant, and diverse community. Social, economic, and environmental challenges are welcomed as opportunities to further enhance its beautifully unique landscape. It is known for its bold ecological and healthy living initiatives that shape one of the most inviting and livable cities in Canada. It continues to minimize its corporate and community footprint and leads by example when making sustainable choices for future generations. (KAPA bolding)

Kamloops is a place where blue skies, clean air, and fresh water complement the strong sense of belonging, where residents feel safe and secure, where community input is valued and encouraged, and where all citizens have abundant opportunities to live, learn, work and play" (Sustainable Kamloops Plan, 2010).


Scott on 2012-02-02 01:06:39 some interesting information.

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