Coal extraction by continuous miners (CM) is currently the most common underground method in the US industry and accounts for slightly more than two-thirds of the nation's deep mining production (National Coal Association, 1987). Even if longwall mining should become more commonplace, it can proceed only after ventilation and access entries have been driven by CMs. Since an area of concern continues to be the effects of the dust generated on the health of mineworkers, this paper discusses the relationship between the elemental compositon of mining-generated airborne dust sampled from the immediate ventilation return of a CM and laboratory-generated dust derived from channel samples taken from the mines. There are several potential contributions of this type of study to the coal mining industry. First, after more fundamental knowledge of the causes of Coal Worker's Pneumoconiosis (CWP) is learned, the laboratory-generated respirable dust could be used to identify a potentially hazardous coal seam. Also, this study could possibly aid in understanding the fundamental causes of CWP by producing mining-simulated samples of coal dust that could be used in epidemiological studies. Further, assuming that there is no difference in the elemental composition of a drilI-core sample and a channel sample from the same location, a mining company could predict a new mine's respirable dust elemental composition in the immediate ventilation return by using exploratory drill core samples of the roof, coal, and floor rock to prepare the laboratory dust. Ventilation engineers could then use engineering design and control measures during premine planning to reduce the incidence and severity of CWP by better ventilating the potentially hazardous coal seam. If this proper planning prevented any future changes to the ventilation equipment and mine design, much time and money could be saved.