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Results of field studies on stratification of diesel particulate matter in mine openings.
Proceedings of the 6th International Mine Ventilation Congress, May 17-22, 1997, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Littleton, CO: Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. 1997 Feb; :155-162
Many concerns have been expressed worldwide regarding the use of diesel equipment in underground mines due to the potential health risks associated with diesel particulate matter (DPM). In assessing the risk to the health of miners and designing control strategies for DPM, it is important to know the concentration of DPM in the working areas of a mine. In some mines, significant stratification occurs due to the characteristics of the diesel exhaust, affecting exposure and the ability to measure DPM concentrations accurately. This study outlines some of the concentration profile data obtained during sampling at three mines where diesels were employed. Mine #1 (a gold mine) employed large openings in which a diesel-powered roof bolter was used. Mines #2 and #3 are both room-and-pillar operations with varying conditions. Mine #2 is an experimental mine where two stationary diesels were utilized for sampling purposes, while Mine #3 is a traditional evaporite operation using two mobile diesel vehicles for section haulage. These field studies indicated that some level of stratification occurred in all the mines, but the stratification was not as pronounced in the case of Mine #2 due to the complex pattern of exhaust emissions generated by the vehicles. The stratification seemed to depend on the distance from the vehicle, the mine air velocity, whether the devices were moving or stationary, and whether the exhaust was diluted by equipment design features. The concentration of DPM was generally higher at samplers located near the roof and lower at samplers located near the floor. However, this was not found in all cases. This paper provides conclusions on how knowledge and stratification patterns can be utilized in sampling and control of DPM in mine atmospheres.
Diesel-emissions; Diesel-exhausts; Particulates; Mining-industry; Underground-mining; Health-hazards; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Miners; Underground-miners; Occupational-health; Occupational-exposure; Sampling; Sampling-methods; Mining-equipment; Samplers
Proceedings of the 6th International Mine Ventilation Congress
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division