Work group reports, as given at a workshop on the use of diesel equipment in underground coal mines sponsored by NIOSH, are presented. Representatives of industry, labor, government, and academia attended the workshop and were divided into four work groups, which examined the topics: emissions and control technology, environmental characterization and pollutant interaction, health effects, and safety and productivity. The impact of engine and engine operating parameters such as engine type, duty cycle, fuel, maintenance, emissions control, and emissions characterization on diesel emission factors is discussed. Emission control devices are fitted to approximately 90 percent of the 10,000 diesel engines operating in underground mines in North America. Approximately 60 percent utilize oxidation catalysts and 40 percent water scrubbing devices to control emissions. Pollutant interaction and environmental characterization of diesel emissions are discussed. Health effects of diesel emissions are considered. It is noted that there is little experimental data in this area. Existing data has shown potential carcinogenic effects resulting from skin painting experiments in laboratory animals exposed to an inefficient diesel engine producing nitrogen-dioxide, sulfur-dioxide, and particulate concentrations comparable to those found in some underground mines. Safety and productivity are discussed.
NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Morgantown, West Virginia, 114 pages, 52 references