Mishra, K.K. and Pandey, J.K. and Bandopadhayay, A.K. (2011) Determination of quartz and its abundance in respirable airborne dust in both coal and metal mines in India. Procedia Engineering , 26. pp. 1810-1819. ISSN 1877-7058

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The WHO/ILO international program (1995) on the global elimination of silicosis, aiming inter alia at characterization of dust and its sources, monitoring and evaluation of the results for health risk, has put a premium on the determination of quartz in respirable air borne dust, which is known to cause irreversible lung diseases, such as silicosis and cancer. The work presented herein is a study of the quartz content in airborne respirable dust (ARD) generated in coal and metal mines (zinc and manganese) with a view to evaluate the health risk of miners as per mines regulations. Implementation of safety measures to reduce/eliminate risk to contract silicosis in any mine requires monitoring of the emission of quartz in various locations in addition to the ARD concentration for computation of Maximum Exposure Limit (MEL). The direct on-filter method using an FTIR spectrometer has been adopted for the determination of quartz in ARD. Personal air samplers were used to collect ARD from different locations in mines on GLA-5000 PVC membrane filters. The air samplers were either attached with different workers engaged in the shift or placed in a position near to the dust generation source in the mines to collect suitable amount of dust for analysis. Each dust-loaded filter was then directly scanned by the spectrometer to give the spectrum of quartz, from which the proportion of quartz in the dust was determined from an estimation of the intensity of the doublet at 800 cm-1 using standard procedure. It has been found that the percentage of quartz in ARD of coal mines, especially in coking coal mines situated in Jharia coalfield, is less than 1% in almost all the workings, barring a few cases where it has exceeded this value. MEL for workers is, therefore, equal to 3 mg/m3 in almost all the working places sampled in coal mines. In contrast, for metal mines the situation is different. Quartz determined in ARD exceeds 5% in many workings. Further, the percentage of quartz is also found to vary from location to location inside the mine, which is a reflection of the compositional variation of the rock strata in different working zones of the mines. Monitoring of the emission of quartz is essential for identifying potentially dangerous silicosis-prone areas and working out strategies to mitigate health-related problems of the miners. It has been found that wet drilling and good ventilation systems help to effectively control dust problems at some locations, whereas rotation of workers may be needed in some places where it is difficult to suppress dust to a safe level.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Quartz; airborne dust; coal mines; metal mines; safety measures; health risk
Subjects: Respiratory Protection Laboratory
Depositing User: Dr. Satyendra Kumar Singh
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2012 11:03
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2012 11:03
URI: http://cimfr.csircentral.net/id/eprint/762

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