Mining Publication: A Century of Bureau of Mines/NIOSH Explosives Research
The U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) was created by an Act of Congress on July 1, 1910. The USBM strove to eliminate the use of black powder in underground coal mines and replace it with safer permissible explosives. The testing and approval of permissible explosives, blasting units, and blasting practices evolved and are now codified in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 30, Part 7, Subpart C and Parts 15 and 75. In subsequent years explosives and blasting safety research expanded from Pittsburgh, PA to include USBM labs in Minneapolis, MN, Denver, CO, Spokane, WA and College Park, MD. Research grew from studies of newer explosives and blasting technology for underground coal mines to include applications for all types of mining. During wartime the USBM applied it’s expertise to studies and research that supported national defense. Following World War II, the USBM continued explosives research for industrial applications. Advances were made on vibration from blasting, evaluations of the state-of-art in safer explosives, electronic detonators and blasting devices, and research that supported changes in regulations for blasting in the mining industry.