Mining Contract: Next Generation Continuous Personal Dust Monitor (CPDM)

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Contract # 75D30118C03087
Start Date 9/24/2018
End Date 12/31/2022
Research Concept

Until recently, underground coal miners and mine operators had little way of knowing—in real time—if miners were being exposed to hazardous levels of respirable coal dust during their shifts. NIOSH collaborated with an instrument manufacturer, government partners, labor representatives, and coal industry leaders to develop the continuous personal dust monitor (CPDM), a technology that offers miners, safety personnel, and operators real-time exposure information to help protect miners’ health.

Despite this successful technology development, the need exists for a smaller, lighter, and quieter CPDM that is designed to comply with Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) approval criteria.

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is complete. To receive a copy of the final report, send a request to

The focus of this work is to develop a next-generation CPDM. The contractor, Thermo Fisher Scientific, will target three primary areas: reducing the size and weight of the current CPDM (the PDM 3700), improving the thermal performance of the instrument, and improving the battery life and instrument runtime.

Improved battery life will ensure that the future instrument is capable of operating in excess of the required 12 hours maximum runtime and will provide long-term instrument performance. Improved thermal control will result in the ability of the instrument to be operated over a wider shift temperature operating range while still providing accurate near-real-time dust concentration measurements and accurate end-of-shift exposure results as required by MSHA.

Page last reviewed: March 27, 2023
Page last updated: February 28, 2023