Respirable Coal Mine Dust (RCMD) Research

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract Dust is an inherent byproduct of mining activities that raises notable health and safety concerns. Cumulative inhalation of respirable coal mine dust (RCMD) can lead to diseases including coal worker’s pneumoconiosis (CWP), silicosis, mixed dust pneumoconiosis, dust-related diffuse fibrosis (DDF), and progressive massive fibrosis (PMF). In the US, after the implementation of the interim coal mine dust standard in 1970, and the final standard in 1972, the prevalence of CWP and concentrations of coal mine dust began a steady decline. However, despite decades of efforts in reducing coal mine diseases, CWP incidence rates among US miners began to unexpectedly increase in the mid-1990s. The increase in the rate of CWP has renewed the urge among medical and science researcher to investigate the primary root cause of the problem. The objective of the proposed work is to investigate the characterization, deposition, monitoring, and mitigation of RCMD. First, the RCMD characterization including size, shape, mineralogy, and bio-accessibility will be comprehensively investigated. The investigators will utilize an innovative Mobile Aerosol Lung Deposition Apparatus (MALDA) to study the relationship between RCMD characteristics and respiratory deposition. Further, comprehensive research studies will be conducted in order to understand the interaction of the particles with water droplets and the ways that capturing-efficiency can be improved through modifications of water droplet characteristics. Third, the accuracy, functionality, and application of two real-time coal dust and silica dust monitoring instruments will be demonstrated. Finally, a predictive model will be developed to identify and quantify the relationships between source, concentration, characterization, and respiratory deposition of RCMD. In the end, the investigators will advance the knowledge base by linking the physical characteristics and mineralogy of respirable coal mine dust and optimum monitoring and mitigation techniques to be used in US underground coal mines. 1
Effective start/end date9/15/239/15/24


  • New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology: $127,251.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.