Increasing coal output will require better dust control.
Gillette-RS; Jankowski-RA; Kissell-FN
NIOSH 1990 Sep:52-55
The relationship between underground coal mining methods and coal mine dust control was discussed. Mining methods used in the United States (US) were summarized. Three major methods are used in the US: conventional, continuous, and longwall mining. Conventional mining accounts for only 11.7% of US production and is expected to decline to 4.2% by 1995. Longwall mining produces more coal dust than continuous mining; however, the problem of silica (14808607) is almost entirely restricted to continuous mining because of its unique cutting pattern. Compliance of longwall and continuous mining operators with the current coal dust standard, 2.0mg/m3, was discussed. When viewed as the average, dust exposures generated by longwall and continuous mining are currently below the 2.0mg/m3 standard. On an individual basis, however, only 70% of the longwall sections and 59% of the continuous miner sections in the US were in compliance with the standard in May 1987. It was noted that the costs to the underground coal mining industry have risen as the average dust concentrations have decreased. The effect of coal production on dust levels was discussed. Dust emissions increase as coal production increases. This has led to increased production costs due to installing new technologies for controlling dust. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the US coal industry is tending toward a greater emphasis on longwall mining. The authors conclude that in order for the US coal industry to remain competitive in the world market, greater advances in dust control technology must be achieved that will enable it to increase production while simultaneously complying with the dust standard.
Coal-mining; Dust-suppression; Regulations; Underground-mining; Work-practices; Coal-dust; Standards; Mining-equipment;
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 90-108
Proceedings of the VIIth International Pneumoconioses Conference