Mining Publication: Silica Dust Sources in Underground Metal/Nonmetal Mines - Two Case Studies
NIOSH's Pittsburgh Research Laboratory is currently involved in research to identify silica dust generation in underground metal/nonmetal mines. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop control technologies to reduce worker exposure to respirable silica dust. Commodities and job classifications with the highest silica dust exposure have been identified through analysis of the Mine Safety and Health Administration's compliance dust-sampling database. Dust surveys were conducted in an underground limestone and gold mine to investigate silica dust sources, generation levels and the controls being used. A summary of the mining operations, sampling procedures, resulting data and suggested methods to improve the dust control will be provided.