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Concepts to control quartz dust exposure of the continuous miner operator and helper.

Babbitt CA; Muldoon TL; Rajan SR; Wirch S; Burnett J
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, OFR 7-89, 1988 Jan; :1-174
Reduced respirable dust standards are imposed on U.S. coal mines when the quartz content of the dust exceeds 5 pct. Improvements in analytical techniques for free silica have indentified many mines with quartz dust problems, resulting in standards as low as 0.1 Mg/m3 in severe cases. Traditional approaches to dust control often fail to allow standards below 2.0 Mg/m3 to be met. On this contract, several control techniques were identified to reduce the dust exposures (including quartz) of the continuous miner operator and other face personnel, including (1) the use of higher water flow rates to reduce the quantity of dust generated during cutting, (2) improved spray systems, including more practical underboom sprays, to reduce dust generation, (3) improved cutting and loading practices to minimize regrinding when roof rock and midseam partings must be removed, (4) improved use of ventilation curtains to increse forward air velocity and reduce rollback by confining dust to the face area, and (5) improved spray systems to reduce dust from secondary sources, such as coal discharging into the shuttle car. This report describes the laboratory development, engineering analyses, and underground evaluations of these control techniques.
Dust control; Quartz; Coal mines; Mine ventilation; Standards; Mining equipment; Silica minerals; Sprayers; Cutting machines; Safety engineering; Air pollution abatement; Occupational safety and health; Risk assessment
Publication Date
Document Type
CP; Final Contract Report
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
OFR 7-89; Contract-H0348031
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, OFR 7-89
Performing Organization
Foster Miller Inc.
Page last reviewed: November 26, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division