Mining Publication: NIOSH Research in Coal Dust and Explosions
The NIOSH mining research program at the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL) includes the areas of coal mine dust control and monitoring, and explosion prevention. One very important project at PRL is development of a continuous recording person-wearable respirable dust monitor. This personal dust monitor (PDM) is a respirable dust sampler and gravimetric-equivalent analysis instrument that is part of a belt-worn mine cap lamp battery unit. Prototypes were successfully tested in the lab and in four underground coal mines. The PDM testing showed that it was convenient to wear and use, robust, and provided accurate and timely data. NIOSH is also conducting research in coal mine explosion prevention, suppression, and mitigation. Aspects of this research program include full-scale explosion research, laboratory-scale research, frictional ignition of methane, mine ventilation seal construction, prediction of coal mine methane emissions, mine monitoring systems, flame cutting and welding operations, spontaneous combustion, and emergency preparedness.