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A personal miner's carbon monoxide alarm.

Chilton JE; Carpenter CR
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI/IC ####, 1989 Jan; :1-12
Underground miners may be exposed to hazardous quantities of toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide (co), generated from mine fires or explosions. Every underground miner is required to carry a filter self-rescuer (fsr), which when operated will remove CO from the miner's breathing air. In addition, every underground miner must have a self-contained self-rescuer (scsr) near the worksite that will supply breathing oxygen. In many situations, miners do not know when to don either rescuer since they do not know if there is a fire in the mine, nor do they carry instrumentation necessary for the detection of the toxic, colorless, and odorless fire product carbon monoxide If each miner carried a personal CO alarm, which would respond to high concentrations of CO, the miner would then be alerted when to don either the fsr or scsr and exit the mine. A prototype personal miner's CO alarm called pemcoal was developed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines. The pemcoal unit is small enough to be carried on a miner's belt, has a flash lamp visual alarm, requires no calibration for use, and uses a chemical sensor that changes color by reaction with trace quantities of carbon monoxide The chemical sensor was tested at concentrations of CO from 10 to 1,000 ppm, at temperatures from 5 deg to 40 deg c, and with several potential mine gas interferents. The pemcoal alarm times were sufficiently fast to warn miners before they are exposed to hazardous quantities of carbon monoxide
Warning systems; Coal mines; Carbon monoxide poisoning; Fire alarm systems; Mine fires; Mine gases; Carbon compounds; Safety engineering; Accident prevention
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Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, IC 9233
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division