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The relationship between elemental carbon and diesel particulate matter in underground metal/nonmetal mines in the United States and coal mines in Australia.
Noll-J; Gilles-S; Wu-HW; Rubinstein-E
J Occup Environ Hyg 2015 Mar; 12(3):205-211
In the United States, total carbon (TC) is used as a surrogate for determining diesel particulate matter (DPM) compliance exposures in underground metal/nonmetal mines. Since TC can be affected by interferences and elemental carbon (EC) is not, one method used to estimate the TC concentration is to multiply the EC concentration from the personal sample by a conversion factor in order to avoid the influence of potential interferences. Since there is no accepted single conversion factor for all metal/nonmetal mines, one is determined every time an exposure sample is taken by collecting an area sample that represents the TC/EC ratio in the miner's breathing zone and is away from potential interferences. As an alternative to this procedure, this paper investigates the relationship between TC and EC from DPM samples to determine if a single conversion factor can be used for all metal/nonmetal mines. In addition, this paper also investigates how well EC represents DPM concentrations in Australian coal mines since the recommended exposure limit for DPM in Australia is an EC value. When TC was predicted from EC values using a single conversion factor of 1.27 in 14 US metal/nonmetal mines, 95% of the predicted values were within 18% of the measured value, even at the PEL concentration of 160 µg/m3 TC. A strong correlation between TC and EC was also found in nine underground coal mines in Australia.
Carbon-compounds; Diesel-emissions; Particulates; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors; Underground-mining; Metal-mining; Sampling; Respiration; Respirable-dust; Coal-mining; Author Keywords: diesel; elemental carbon; measurement
James Noll, Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division