April 2020
Volume 72    Issue 4

Use of the field-based silica monitoring technique in a coal mine: A case study

Pampena, Jason D.; Cauda, Emanuele G.; Chubb, Lauren G.; Meadows, James J.

ABSTRACT:

Respirable crystalline silica (RCS) found in dust generated by various mining processes is an important occupational hazard in the underground coal-mining industry. Exposure can lead to disabling and incurable diseases, including coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), silicosis and lung cancer [1,2]. Clusters of rapidly progressive CWP have been observed in the Appalachian regions of eastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia, and recent cases have been generally more severe and showing more rapid progression. CWP is approximately four times as common among long-tenured underground coal miners in central Appalachia than long-tenured underground miners in the rest of the United States, and 20.6 percent of long-tenured underground miners in central Appalachia were suffering from the disease as of 2017.

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