From Dust to Disease: A Review of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Lung Deposition and Advances in CFD Modeling

Eurico Madureira, Ahmed Aboelezz, Wei Chung Su, Pedram Roghanchi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The United States has witnessed a concerning surge in the incidence of diseases like Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis (CWP), despite numerous efforts aimed at prevention. This study delves into the realm of respiratory health by investigating the deposition of dust particles within the respiratory tract and lungs. By analyzing particles of varying sizes, shapes, velocities, and aerodynamic diameters, we aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of their impact on deposition patterns. This insight could potentially drive changes in dust exposure protocols within mining environments and improve monitoring practices. The interplay of several critical factors, including particle characteristics and an individual’s breathing patterns, plays a pivotal role in determining whether particles settle in the lungs or are exhaled. This paper provides a comprehensive literature review on Respirable Coal Mine Dust (RCMD), with a specific focus on examining particle deposition across different regions of the airway system and lungs. Additionally, we explore the utility of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in simulating particle behavior within the respiratory system. Predicting the precise behavior of dust particles within the respiratory airway poses a significant challenge. However, through numerical simulations, we aspire to enhance our understanding of strategies to mitigate total lung deposition by comprehensively modeling particle interactions within the respiratory system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1311
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • aerosol
  • airflow
  • coal dust
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • dust exposure
  • exposure limits
  • lung deposition
  • respirable coal mine dust
  • respiratory diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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