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Environmental assessment of diesel emissions in underground coal mines.
Piacitelli-GM; Jones-WG; Hearl-FJ; Gamble-JF; Reger-RB; Timko-RJ; Doyle-DM
Ann Occup Hyg, Inhaled Particles VI 1988 Dec; 32(Suppl 1):1194-1195
Considerable interest has been shown in the use of diesel-powered equipment in the workplace. Occupational health concerns regarding diesel use are heightened in the confined work environment of underground mines where adequate ventilation is often difficult. The characteristics and amounts of diesel exhaust are largely dependent upon engine design, fuel composition, power output, duty cycle and emission controls. Diesel exhaust consists of gases, vapours and particulate matter - some of which have been demonstrated to cause a variety of adverse health effects in animals and/or humans. The objective of this study was to quantify occupational exposures in underground coal mines using diesel equipment for correlation with epidemiological data collected over the same study period. (The results of these epidemiological analyses were reported during this Symposium in 'Effects of Exposure to Diesel Emissions amongst Coal Miners: a Prospective Evaluation' by Reger et al.). Industrial hygiene surveys were conducted in seven underground mines using diesel equipment for face haulage. Area samples were collected throughout the mining sections for respirable and total particulates, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide. nitrogen oxides, aldehydes, sulphur oxides, sulphates, nitrates, organic acids, nitrosamines, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs), and particle-size characterisations. Data were originally collected in 1977 with follow-up surveys made in 1983-84. The statistical association of mining variables with exposure levels indicated that the effects of mine and area were highly significant, while the effects of shift and day of the week were not. A subgroup of the sampled contaminants of medical and/or engineering significance was selected for correlation with epidemiological data. Carbon dioxide (CO2) was chosen as the overall surrogate of diesel exposure since its concentration is directly related to the amount of fuel burned and inversely related to the available ventilation. Carbon monoxide (CO) is related to "fuel-rich' conditions and is an indicator of incomplete combustion. Nitrogen dioxide (NO is related to 'fuel-lean' conditions and is a known respiratory irritant. Respirable dust (RP) includes both coal dust and diesel particulate and is potentially pneunoconiotic and/or carcinogenic. Study results indicate that the impact of diesel exhaust on air quality depends primarily on the operations being performed, the emission controls applied, and the amount of pollutant dilution provided by ventilation.
Coal-mining; Underground-mining; Diesel-emissions; Diesel-exhausts; Mining-industry; Ventilation; Mining-equipment; Air-quality; Air-quality-measurement; Air-quality-monitoring; Coal-dust; Particulate-dust; Particulates; Aerosol-particles
G.M. Piccitelli, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, 944 Chestnut Ridge Road, Morgantown, WV 26505 USA
Dodgson-J; McCallum-RI; Bailey-MR; Fisher-DR
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Inhaled Particles VI
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division