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The Swedish experience with diesel engines in underground mining.

Jorgensen HS
NIOSH 1982 Oct; :109-119
The Swedish experience with using diesel engines in underground coal mines was discussed. Regulations pertaining to using diesel powered equipment in underground Swedish mines were reviewed. The regulations cover exposures to carbon-monoxide (630080), carbon- dioxide (124389), nitrogen-dioxide (10102440), nitrogen oxides, oxygen content of the mine air, diesel fuel composition, and ventilation. The types of diesel equipment used and measures for controlling air quality in the LKAB iron ore mine in northern Sweden were discussed. The mine ventilation system used at LKAB was described. Epidemiological studies of the health effects of diesel exhaust exposure conducted in LKAB mine workers were summarized. These have shown a significantly increased prevalence of bronchitis among workers exposed to diesel exhausts for several years. The increase was most pronounced among smoking miners indicating a possible synergistic effect. Pulmonary function testing did not reveal any significant differences between underground and surface workers. Smokers working underground complained more frequently about smell and irritation from the diesels. Other studies have shown an increased prevalence of lung cancer among underground mine workers; however, this finding was complicated by the recent discovery of radon (10043922) in Swedish iron ore mines. It was noted that a cocarcinogenic effect of diesel exhausts cannot be ruled out, and it may show up in future studies. Future trends in the Swedish underground mining industry were discussed. Diesels will probably continue to be the major source of energy in Swedish mines, although alternative sources of energy are being investigated. Efforts will be made to improve diesel engines, mine ventilation, and surveillance of underground workers. A transcript of a question and answer session was provided.
Coal-mining; Underground-mining; Diesel-engines; Diesel-exhausts; Epidemiology; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-cancer; Occupational-health; Tobacco-smoke; Radiation-exposure; Legislation
630-08-0; 124-38-9; 10102-44-0; 10043-92-2
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 82-122
Source Name
Proceedings of a Workshop on the Use of Diesel Equipment in Underground Coal Mines, Morgantown, West Virginia, September 19-23, 1977; Morgantown, West Virginia, NIOSH
Page last reviewed: February 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division