Mining Product: Clothes Cleaning Process
Original creation date: January 2004
Contaminated worker clothing has been identified as a source of exposure to respirable dust. If this respirable dust contains silica, it may cause the worker to develop silicosis, an irreversible lung disease. NIOSH and Unimin Corporation, the largest manufacturer of silica sand in the United States, have developed a clothes cleaning system that is able to clean dusty work clothes throughout the workday. This clothes cleaning system is a quick, safe, and effective method to safely remove dust from a worker's clothing without exposing the worker, the work environment, or co-workers to increased health and safety concerns.
This system consists of four major components: a cleaning booth, an air spray manifold, an air reservoir, and an exhaust ventilation system. Before entering the cleaning booth, the worker must don an approved fit-tested, half-mask respirator with HEPA quality filters, hearing protection, and full seal safety goggles. Upon entering cleaning booth, the worker activates a start button, spins slowly in front of an air spray manifold, which takes approximately 18 seconds, and then exits the booth with clean clothing. This process has been proven to be more effective in removing dust from a worker's clothing than methods currently being used. Although this process was designed for workers in the mining industry, it is applicable to any industry where contaminated work clothing is a problem.
This Clothes Cleaning Process is not currently approved on a general basis by MSHA. To implement this technique, a 101 Petition for Modification must be submitted and approved for a specific installation.
- Clothes Cleaning Process video - available in streaming format (RealMedia) and DVD from this page.
- Clothes Cleaning Process Instructional Materials
Video - January 2004
NIOSHTIC2 Number: 20026135
NIOSH 2004; :1-16 (NIOSH 2004 Jan; :Video)
These videos are in RealMedia format and require RealPlayer to play.
- Assessment of Airborne Dust Generated From Small Truck-Mounted Rock Drills
- Development of Dust Control Units for Underground Coal Mines
- Improved Drill Shroud Capture of Respirable Dust Utilizing Air Nozzles Underneath the Drill Deck
- Improving Silica Dust Controls for Metal/Nonmetal Mining Operations in the United States
- Improving the Performance of Fan-Powered Dust Collectors in Stone-Cutting Applications
- Laboratory and Field Evaluation of Dust Collector Bags for Reducing Dust Exposure of Roof Bolter Operators
- Reducing Dust Exposure from Contaminated Work Clothing with a Stand-Alone Cleaning System
- Reducing Respirable Dust Exposure of Workers Using an Improved Clothes Cleaning Process
- Respirable Dust Control for Surface Mines
- Technology News 509 - A New Method to Clean Dust From Soiled Work Clothes
- Page last reviewed: 4/18/2014
- Page last updated: 3/31/2014
- Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Mining Program