Mining Publication: Inaccuracy of Area Sampling for Measuring the Dust Exposure of Mining Machine Operators in Coal Mines
This study examines the accuracy of area sampling for measuring the dust exposure of mining machine operators in coal mines. The specific objective of this research was to find locations where an area sampler might work better than earlier studies have indicated. The results show that fixed-location area sampling cannot accurately predict the dust exposure of a machine operator, even when the best fixed location is sought, the fixed location is quite close to the operator and the bias due to the dust concentration gradient is corrected. Industrial hygienists have known for many years that area sampling is unsuitable for measuring air contaminant exposures in the workplace. Near contaminant sources, the dilution air and the contaminants are not evenly mixed. Therefore, when workers are near contaminant sources, exposure measurements must be taken from the worker's breathing zone to be accurate.