Mining Publication: Improving Silica Dust Control Through Targeted Research
NIOSH conducted a strategic planning effort to identify those areas in mining with the greatest research needs. Data analysis and stakeholder input identified the need to reduce worker exposure to respirable crystalline silica dust as a high priority area. MSHA dust sampling data were analyzed to target the mining commodities and occupations with the greatest percentage of samples containing silica above compliance levels. In response, the Pittsburgh Research Laboratory (PRL) has implemented a multi-faceted research program to improve silica dust control for these problematic commodities and occupations. A review of silica compliance trends, PRL silica research programs, and recent control technology developments are provided here.