Dust blows away provincial limit


Staff member
Feb 15, 2004
The Beach Strip
Posted with permission from the hamilton Spectator.
The Hamilton Spectator
(Apr 28, 2009)
A black dust storm that struck a part of the Hamilton Beach Strip produced pollution readings 19 times the provincial standard.

Data obtained by Environment Hamilton indicate the fine particulate pollution from the storm hit a level of 970 micrograms per cubic metre of air. Standards for a 24-hour concentration from the province and the World Health Organization are 50 micrograms per cubic metre.

The dust storm struck the central Beach Strip about suppertime Saturday, just before a heavy thunderstorm hit.

The measurement of PM10 particles (10 microns or one- tenth the diameter of a human hair) was made at a monitoring station on Beach Boulevard.

The Environment Ministry is investigating the industrial source of the dust. It has taken samples for lab analysis.

"It was like a sandstorm, but only black," said Jim Howlett, president of the Hamilton Beach Community Council. "It was absolutely visible. You couldn't miss it and a lot of people had just finished our annual Beach Community cleanup."

Last night, Howlett was still cleaning off the dust, which got into his kitchen and covered fruit in a bowl with a dusting of grey.

He and Lynda Lukasik, executive director of Environment Hamilton, are calling for covering on stockpiles such as coal on U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal Dofasco docks.
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