What type of health issues are associated with inhalation of ultrafine particles?
This question comes from community members in Pennsylvania who are concerned about the long term health effects of inhalation of a dehydrated waste product coming from an abattoir (slaughterhouse). This waste product consists mostly of particulates smaller than PM2.5 (ultrafines) and also includes calcium and heavy metals, and has a listed pH of 12.4-12.8. See https://publiclab.org/notes/liz/06-14-2017/issue-briefing-ultrafine-particle-pollution-from-dehydrated-biosolids
Some community members have been inhaling this product for 31 months, others for as long as 43 months. They are observing health effects amongst their neighbors, and are starting to keep records, but don't want to jump to conclusions. There are a set of interrelated questions:
- Are these are related to the nearby industrial animal processing facility?
- What we might expect the health effects for our community to be?
- How we should document these health effects?
- Are there steps we should be taking to protect our health?
NB, Previously, this community has inquired specifically about calcium and received very helpful answers: https://publiclab.org/questions/stevie/05-10-2017/what-are-the-health-effects-related-to-fine-particles-of-calcium-carbonate