Assessment of respirable dust exposures in an opencast coal mine


Onder M., Yigit E.

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.152, pp.393-401, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

Abstract

All major opencast mining activities produce dust. The major operations that produce dust are drilling, blasting, loading, unloading, and transporting. Dust not only deteriorates the environmental air quality in and around the mining site but also creates serious health hazards. Therefore, assessment of dust levels that arise from various opencast mining operations is required to prevent and minimize the health risks. To achieve this objective, an opencast coal mining area was selected to generate site-specific emission data and collect respirable dust measurement samples. The study covered various mining activities in different locations including overburden loading, stock yard, coal loading, drilling, and coal handling plant. The dust levels were examined to assess miners' exposure to respirable dust in each of the opencast mining areas from 1994 to 2005. The data obtained from the dust measurement studies were evaluated by using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the Tukey-Kramer procedure. The analyses were performed by using MinitabA (R) 14 statistical software. It was concluded that, drilling operations produce higher dust concentration levels and thus, drill operators may have higher incidence of respiratory disorders related to exposure to dust in their work environment.