The dust has left students with the flu and asthma, and it’s causing a health scare among students at a nearby elementary school.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Friday she’s directed her health and safety minister to look into the matter.
She said she’s also asked the province’s mining watchdog to examine the coal-mining process.
The dust has been blamed for health concerns in Alberta for decades, but Notley has called it a “national crisis” in recent months.
She says she’s committed to getting it under control.
Alberta schools are facing an increased number of asthma attacks, asthma attacks have soared in recent years, and students with asthma can’t breathe.
“We know the number of people with asthma has increased,” Notley told reporters Friday.
We’ve been seeing an increase in the number and the severity of these attacks in schools and in community settings.
“Health Canada says a number of factors are contributing to the rising asthma attacks.
In addition to the dust, Notley says Alberta schools have been experiencing problems with students who don’t have their school uniforms on or who wear masks when they’re in class.
Notley says the province is also investigating the possibility of using a chemical called coal dust to treat asthma.
At the elementary school in Edmonton, there are about 500 students in the school, but the school’s principal says he’s seen a jump in the students who come in with asthma.”
There’s been a big increase in our students who have had asthma and we’re looking into whether it’s the COVID-19, or whether it is something else,” said Jean-Claude Mecheaux.
There have been no reports of any respiratory symptoms at the school.