Mining Contract: Adaptation of Wearable Respirable Dust Monitor Prototypes for use in Underground Coal Mines

Contract # 75D30121C11901
Start Date 9/1/2021
Research Concept

This contract responds to health and safety issues associated with monitoring and prevention of exposure to respirable dust in underground mines, specifically regarding development of non-regulatory personal measurement of coal dust and/or silica. Feedback is a critical requirement for reducing exposure to known hazards. This device will allow miners to adjust their practices and instantly obtain feedback as to whether or not it worked to reduce exposure to respirable dust. It will also be lighter and less bulky than the CPDM, which are common complaints associated with the CPDM.

Contract Status & Impact

This contract is ongoing. For more information on this contract, send a request to mining@cdc.gov.

The overarching goal of this proposed project is to adapt the Wearable Respirable Dust Monitor (WEARDM) system developed by UIC under contract #200-2016-91153 for reliable long-term use in underground coal mines. This adaptation includes design changes and achieving MSHA regulatory approval regarding intrinsic safety [29] permitting its use in underground coal mines. The adaptation will result in prototypes that are rugged and apt to operate for extended time in underground mining operations, including facilitated access to reliably service the internal components between shifts and wireless download of measured exposure data.

The project will address the following sub-objectives:

  1. Adapt the WEARDM prototype designs to mining environment and fabricate a minimum of five (5) copies of the adapted prototypes.
  2. Obtain MSHA permissibility certification of the adapted prototypes for in-mine testing (temporary experimental and permanent).
  3. Evaluate the functionality of the adapted prototypes in collaboration with NIOSH in laboratory and mining environments.
  4. Connect with a commercialization partner and support technology transfer.

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