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Clearing the air: unidirectional filtration/pressurization system protects equipment operators from dust exposure.

Authors
Cecala-A; Organiscak-J
Source
Rock Prod 2009 May; 112(5):18-21
NIOSHTIC No.
20035522
Abstract
Miner's exposure to dust remains a top concern among regulatory agencies, particularly at production facilities with high levels of silica. This respirable dust is present in almost all operations and is a direct cause of the deadly disease silicosis. Silica is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth and is a threat at all operations, especially granite and sand and gravel facilities. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health continues to analyze silica's threat. The institute's research indicates that heavy-equipment operators have an increased risk to dust exposure, especially when drilling or breaking rock, even when working from an enclosed cab. However, there are methods to reduce an operator's exposure further, according to recent NIOSH research, which is detailed in its report, Improving Air Quality in Enclosed Caps with Uni-Directional Filtration/Pressurization System. NIOSH indicates that when surface mining equipment is new, the operator's dust exposure is normally at acceptable levels. As the equipment ages and components such as gaskets and seals deteriorate, the level of protection can degrade to a point where it is no longer acceptable. However, the institute indicates that at least two critical factors necessary for an effective system.
Keywords
Biological-factors; Breathing-zone; Chemical-hypersensitivity; Control-technology; Dust-control; Dust-control-equipment; Dust-exposure; Engineering-controls; Equipment-design; Equipment-reliability; Explosive-dusts; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-methods; Filters; Inhalation-studies; Mining-equipment; Mining-industry; Particle-aerodynamics; Particulate-dust; Respirable-dust; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Silica-dusts; Silicates; Surface-mining; Ventilation-equipment
CODEN
ROPRA5
Publication Date
20090501
Document Type
Journal Article; Trade
Fiscal Year
2009
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
5
ISSN
0747-3605
NIOSH Division
PRL
Priority Area
Mining
Source Name
Rock Products
State
PA
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