Monitoring and Sampling
Approaches to Assess Underground
Coal Mine Dust Exposures
Committee on the Study of the Control of Respirable
Coal Mine Dust Exposure in Underground Mines
Board on Earth Sciences and Resources
Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology
Board on Health Sciences Policy
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Health and Medicine Division
A Consensus Study Report of
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Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Monitoring and Sampling Approaches to Assess Underground Coal Mine Dust Exposures. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https:/doi.org/10.17226/25111.
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COMMITTEE ON THE STUDY OF THE CONTROL OF RESPIRABLE COAL MINE DUST EXPOSURE IN UNDERGROUND MINES
THURE E. CERLING (Chair), The University of Utah, Salt Lake City
DIRK DAHMANN, Institut für Gefahrstoff-Forschung, Bochum, Germany (Retired)
R. LARRY GRAYSON, The Pennsylvania State University, Coraopolis, PA
BRADEN T. LUSK, Missouri University for Science and Technology, Rolla, MO
MICHAEL MCCAWLEY, West Virginia University, Morgantown
RAJA V. RAMANI, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park
CECILE S. ROSE, National Jewish Health and University of Colorado Denver
EMILY A. SARVER, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
JOSEPH A. SBAFFONI, JAS Mine Consulting LLC, DuBois, PA
MICHAEL J. WRIGHT, United Steelworkers, Pittsburgh, PA
RAYMOND WASSEL, Project Director
ELIZABETH EIDE, Director, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources
SAMMANTHA MAGSINO, Senior Program Officer
CATHY LIVERMAN, Scholar
YASMIN ROMITTI, Research Associate
MIRSADA KARALIC-LONCAREVIC, Manager, Technical Information Center (until April 6, 2018)
RADIAH ROSE-CRAWFORD, Manager, Editorial Projects
TAMARA DAWSON, Program Coordinator
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES
GENE WHITNEY (Chair), Congressional Research Service (Retired), Washington, DC
R. LYNDON (LYN) ARSCOTT, International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (Retired), Danville, California
BRENDA B. BOWEN, The University of Utah
CHRISTOPHER (SCOTT) CAMERON, GeoLogical Consulting, LLC
RODNEY C. EWING, NAE, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Stanford University, Stanford, California
CAROL P. HARDEN, The University of Tennessee
THORNE LAY, NAS, University of California, Santa Cruz
ANN S. MAEST, Buka Environmental, Boulder, Colorado
ZELMA MAINE-JACKSON, Washington State Department of Ecology, Nuclear Waste Program, Richland, Washington
MARTIN W. MCCANN, Jack R. Benjamin and Associates and Stanford University, Menlo Park, California
JAMES M. ROBERTSON, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, Madison
JEFFREY N. RUBIN, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue
JAMES SLUTZ, National Petroleum Council, Washington, DC
SHAOWEN WANG, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
ELIZABETH J. WILSON, Dartmouth College
ELIZABETH A. EIDE, Director
ANNE M. LINN, Scholar
DEBORAH GLICKSON, Senior Program Officer
SAMMANTHA L. MAGSINO, Senior Program Officer
COURTNEY R. DEVANE, Administrative Coordinator
NICHOLAS D. ROGERS, Financial and Research Associate
YASMIN ROMITTI, Research Associate
CARLY BRODY, Senior Program Assistant
RAYMOND M. CHAPPETTA, Senior Program Assistant
ERIC J. EDKIN, Senior Program Assistant
BOARD ON ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES AND TOXICOLOGY
WILLIAM H. FARLAND (Chair), Colorado State University, Fort Collins
LESA AYLWARD, Summit Toxicology, LLP, Falls Church, VA
RICHARD A. BECKER, American Chemistry Council, Washington, DC
E. WILLIAM COLGLAZIER, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC
DOMINIC M. DITORO, University of Delaware, Newark
DAVID C. DORMAN, North Carolina State University, Raleigh
ANNE FAIRBROTHER, Exponent, Inc., Philomath, OR
GEORGE GRAY, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
STEVEN P. HAMBURG, Environmental Defense Fund, New York, NY
ROBERT A. HIATT, University of California, San Francisco
R. JEFFREY LEWIS, ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences, Inc., Annandale, NJ
H. SCOTT MATTHEWS, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
ROBERT PERCIASEPE, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Arlington, VA
R. CRAIG POSTLEWAITE, Department of Defense, Burke, VA
REZA J. RASOULPOUR, Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, IN
MARK A. RATNER, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
JOAN B. ROSE, Michigan State University, East Lansing
GINA M. SOLOMON, Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
ROBERT M. SUSSMAN, Sussman and Associates, Washington, DC
DEBORAH L. SWACKHAMER, University of Minnesota, St. Paul
PETER S. THORNE, The University of Iowa, Iowa City
BEST Senior Staff
TERESA A. FRYBERGER, Director (until April 30, 2018)
ELLEN K. MANTUS, Scholar and Director of Risk Assessment
RAYMOND A. WASSEL, Scholar and Director of Environmental Studies
SUSAN N. J. MARTEL, Senior Program Officer for Toxicology
BOARD ON HEALTH SCIENCES POLICY
JEFFREY KAHN (Chair), NAM, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
DAVID BLAZES, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA
ROBERT M. CALIFF, NAM, Duke University, Durham, NC
R. ALTA CHARO, NAM, University of Wisconsin–Madison
LINDA HAWES CLEVER, NAM, California Pacific Medical Center, Portola Valley
BARRY S. COLLER, NAS/NAM, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY
BERNARD A. HARRIS, JR., Vesalius Ventures, Houston, TX
MARTHA N. HILL, NAM, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
ALAN M. JETTE, NAM, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
PATRICIA A. KING, NAM, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC
STORY C. LANDIS, NAM, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Freeport, ME
HARRY T. ORR, NAM, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
BRAY PATRICK-LAKE, Duke University, Erie, CO
DIETRAM A. SCHEUFELE, University of Wisconsin–Madison
UMAIR A. SHAH, Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services, Houston, TX
ROBYN STONE, NAM, LeadingAge, Washington, DC
ANDREW M. POPE, Senior Board Director
STEPHANIE YOUNG, Program Coordinator
This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
We thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
T. Renee Anthony, The University of Iowa
David Beerbower, Beerbower Safety Associates, LLC
Bharath Belle, Anglo American Coal (Australia and South Africa)
Susan L. Brantley, The Pennsylvania State University
Jurgen Brune, Colorado School of Mines
Robert Cohen, Northwestern University
Fiona M. Doyle, University of California, Berkeley
David M. Mannino, University of Kentucky
Syd S. Peng, West Virginia University
Linda Raisovich-Parsons, United Mine Workers of America
John Volckens, Colorado State University
Gregory R. Wagner, Harvard School of Public Health
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by the review coordinator, Paul A. Locke, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the review monitor, Kirk R. Smith, University of California, Berkeley. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies.
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Dust generated during underground coal mining operations includes particles small enough to be deposited in the airways and the gas-exchange region of a miner’s lung, when inhaled. Chronic exposure to those particles, referred to as respirable coal mine dust (RCMD), puts miners at risk for various lung diseases, including coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, emphysema, silicosis, and chronic bronchitis. This report is about methods for monitoring and sampling miners’ exposure to RCMD. Results from the implementation of those methods are used for determining whether miners’ exposures are within regulatory limits and informing mine operators’ efforts to reduce those exposures.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is the federal agency responsible for setting and enforcing mine safety and health standards. On May 1, 2014, MSHA’s final rule, entitled Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors, was issued as part of an ongoing effort to protect miners from the health risks of lung diseases associated with RCMD inhalation. (Chapter 1 of this report provides an overview of the rule’s main requirements.)
Some coal mine operators and mining associations had expressed various concerns about the efficacy of the monitoring and sampling protocols in MSHA’s new rule in aiding decisions regarding the control of RCMD and mine worker exposure. For example, MSHA’s dust rule requires the use of a continuous personal dust monitor (CPDM) for measurement of RCMD mass concentrations in near real time and determining compliance with the regulatory exposure limit. Concerns were expressed as to whether CPDM measurements will accurately reflect the concentration of particles in coal mine dust that are of relevance to coal mining–related respiratory diseases. CPDM measurements of RCMD also include limestone particles or other types of rock dust that are typically applied in mines to meet requirements for controlling the combustibility of coal dust.
In the Fiscal 2016 Consolidated Appropriations, Congress directed the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to arrange for a study with the National Academy of Sciences to consider monitoring technologies and sampling protocols used in the United States and in similarly industrialized countries for the control of RCMD exposure in underground coal mines; effects of rock dust mixtures and their application on RCMD measurements; and the efficacy of current monitoring technologies and sampling approaches. The request also called for science-based conclusions regarding optimal monitoring and sampling strategies to aid mine operators’ decision making related to reducing respirable coal mine dust exposure to miners in underground coal mines.
In response to the congressional request, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine assembled a committee of 10 members who had expertise in underground mine air quality, exposure science, mine worker health and safety regulations, industrial hygiene, occupational medicine and environmental health, mining engineering, and international perspectives. (The committee’s formal statement of task is presented in Appendix A and biographical sketches of the members are presented in Appendix B.)
In responding to the request from Congress, the committee was asked to identify important research gaps regarding monitoring and sampling protocols for controlling miners’ RCMD exposures. It was asked not to recommend changes to the requirements of MSHA’s final rule for lowering miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust, as the development of those requirements involves considerations beyond the scientific and technical focus of this study.
In the course of preparing its report, the committee held public information-gathering sessions during four of its meetings to hear presentations from members of Congress’ professional
staff; representatives of MSHA, NIOSH, National Mining Association, several coal mining companies, United Mine Workers of America, a rock dust manufacturer; and relevant experts from Australia and the Republic of South Africa. Two of the committee’s information-gathering sessions were held in Charleston and Morgantown, West Virginia, to receive input from individual coal miners and others living in areas where underground coal mining occurs. The committee gratefully acknowledges the individuals listed in Appendix C for their presentations to the committee during the public sessions.
Members of the committee visited the Dana Mine in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania, and the Arch/Coal Leer Mine in Grafton, West Virginia. The committee is very appreciative of the personnel at those mines for allowing members to observe coal mine operations, in situ use of CPDMs, and exposure reduction practices. The committee also appreciates receiving extensive written materials from MSHA, NIOSH, coal mine companies, and other organizations.
The committee is grateful for the assistance of the project staff members for the support they provided.
Thure E. Cerling, Chair
Committee on the Study of the Control of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Exposure in Underground Mines
|AFC||armored face conveyor|
|CDE||cumulative dust exposure|
|CFR||Code of Federal Regulations|
|CMDLD||coal mine dust lung disease|
|CMDPSU||coal mine dust personal sample unit|
|CMHSA||Coal Mine Health and Safety Act|
|COPD||chronic obstructive pulmonary disease|
|CPDM||continuous personal dust monitor|
|CWHSP||Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program|
|CWP||coal workers’ pneumoconiosis|
|DDF||dust-related diffuse fibrosis|
|DGMS||Directorate General of Mine Safety|
|DPM||diesel particulate matter|
|DWP||designated work position|
|FTIR||Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy|
|GAO||U.S. Government Accountability Office|
|GSD||geometric standard deviation|
|HEG||homogenous exposure group|
|HRSA||Health Resources and Services Administration|
|MMCRDM||machine-mounted continuous respirable dust monitor|
|MMU||mechanized mining unit|
|MRE||Mining Research Establishment|
|MSHA||Mine Safety and Health Administration|
|NIOSH||National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health|
|NMA||National Mining Association|
|NOS||not otherwise specified|
|ODO||other designated occupation|
|OEL||occupational exposure limit|
|OMP||occupational medical practitioner|
|PDM||personal dust monitor|
|PMF||progressive massive fibrosis|
|PNOS||particles not otherwise specified|
|PPE||personal protective equipment|
|PSD||particle size distribution|
|RCMD||respirable coal mine dust|
|RCS||respirable crystalline silica|
|RDD||respirable dust dosimeter|
|RPP||rapidly progressive pneumoconiosis|
|SEG||similar exposure group|
|SEM-EDX||scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy|
|SIMTARS||Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station|
|TEOM||tapered-element oscillating microbalance|
BOXES, FIGURES, AND TABLES
2-4 Left: In this sample, 78 percent passes 200 mesh, 66 percent passes 325 mesh, and 43.5 percent passes 10 µm. Right: In this sample, 98 percent passes 200 mesh, 91 percent passes 325 mesh, and 55 percent passes 10 µm
4-3 The amount by which the RCMD criterion differs from the mass of material predicted to be deposited in the gas exchange region (DEa) of the lungs (ICRP, 1994), where coal workers’ pneumoconiosis occurs, is a function of the aerodynamic equivalent mass size distribution of the dust
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