Mining Contract: Filter Media and Holder Compatible with Personal Dust Monitor and End-of-Shift Crystalline Silica Quantification by Raman and FTIR Spectroscopy

Contract # 75D30121C11871
Start Date 9/1/2021
Research Concept

This project aims to find alternative filter media and redesign the filter holder for the continuous personal dust monitor (CPDM) to make the filter compatible with end-of-shift respirable crystalline silica (RCS) quantification by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy. The current filter media interferes with FTIR, making it useless to determine RCS.

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is ongoing. For more information on this contract, send a request to

Coal mine dust inhalation is known to be associated with coal workers pneumoconiosis (CWP) and silicosis. There is a well-established relationship between exposure to RCS, a component often found in respirable coal mine dust (RCMD), and lung damage (Leung et al., 2012). RCS is typically found in rocks adjacent to the mined coal seams. As coal seams become thinner, more rock strata from the immediate roof and floor are mined, generating more RCS-containing dust (Schatzel, 2009). More powerful machinery may also create smaller silica particles. These changes could have contributed to the recent CWP increase in central Appalachian regions (Blackley et al., 2016).

Page last reviewed: 1/13/2022 Page last updated: 1/13/2022