Volkwein-JC; Thimons-ED; Dunham-D; Patashnick-H; Rupprecht-E
Proceedings of the 29th International Technical Conference on Coal Utilization and Fuel Systems, Clearwater, Florida, April 18-22, 2004, 2004 Apr 18; :1-22
An inertial mass measurement technology called the tapered-element oscillating microbalance (TEOM) has been adapted for the measurement of respirable coal dust concentrations in underground mines. The new instrumentation, called the personal dust monitor (PDM), holds the promise to provide miners and mine operators with continuous personal exposure information during a shift. The measurement methodology, also known as the TEOM system, is unique in its ability to collect suspended particles on a filter while simultaneously determining the accumulated mass with NIST traceability. A number of hurdles were overcome to enable the use of TEOM technology in the underground mining application. This required miniaturization, the use of the latest battery technology to power the microbalance and miner's cap lamp operation, and the development of a new physical configuration to isolate the mass measurement system from external shocks. These advances were achieved through a multiyear project funded by NIOSH and carried out by Rupprecht & Patashnick Co., Inc., with strong support from both labor and industry. In early 2003, NIOSH researchers tested the PDM response to different coal types in the lab. Results showed that the PDM met the accuracy criteria established by NIOSH for comparability of sampling methods. Following the successful completion of these tests, the dust monitors were challenged at four different coal mines during the summer. In these trials, the PDM successfully measured the respirable dust concentrations in 108 out of 115 shifts. Results indicate that the PDM performs similarly to collocated manual reference samplers. The underground mining tests also showed that the PDM was convenient to wear, robust, provided accurate information, and generated timely data that could be used to protect miners from overexposure to coal dust. More detailed trials of the PDM technology are planned.
Dusts; Underground-mining; Dust-measurement; Coal-dust; Respirable-dust; Miners; Dust-exposure; Dust-particles; Coal-mining; Pneumoconiosis; Coal-miners; Coal-workers-pneumoconiosis; Dust-samplers; Filters; Occupational-health
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Proceedings of the 29th International Technical Conference on Coal Utilization and Fuel Systems
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