mining process that emits airborne silica

lets talk silica in underground hard rock mining

What is the Concern about Silica in Underground Hard Rock Mining? The parent rock in most ore bodies contains some level of crystalline silica. The level in the ore body can vary widely depending on the geology of the area. As part of the mining process, the rock is often blasted excavated, transported and crushed. During these processes the silica is broken down into very fine particles. These particles can contain respirable crystalline silica or RCS and become airborne and inhaled by workers. It is the respirable crystalline silica (RCS) released into the air which causes diseases.

Dusts in Underground Mining The hazards of the dust will depend on the minerals present such as silica, lead, arsenic or even asbestiform fibres. The particles size is important: Inhalable particles which settle in the upper levels of the respiratory system, i. e. nose and throat. These particles are very important for metal exposures like lead and arsenic minerals in the ore body. Respirable particles are so fine they are invisible. They settle in the alveoli and cause irritation to the lungs. When the body attempts to heal it caused scar tissue to form (fibrosis), replacing healthy tissue. This causes increases mucous production, shortness of breath and wheezing.

What are the Health Effects of Respirable Silica? Exposure to silica dust can lead to the development of: Silicosis (an irreversible scarring and stiffening of the lungs) Accelerated silicosis. Progressive Massive Fibrosis (PMF) Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) often observed as emphysema and bronchitis Lung cancer Kidney disease Auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis It is estimated that 230* people develop lung cancer each year as a result of past exposure to silica dust at work. Not all exposed workers will develop cancer; cancer risk increases with long term or repeated high level exposure. *Cancer Council Australia

Ventilation and Protecting Underground Workers Good ventilation and dilution of dust levels is the main method of protection for underground miners. Every mine has a Ventilation Control Plan which must meet regulatory requirements. It will include: Air hazards and quality requirements for the various contaminants including DPM, respirable dust and respirable silica. Requirements to control heat, humidity and thermal stress. Designed to also meet demands, particularly during development stages. Regular inspections and monitoring to deliver good performance. To reduce dust exposures, use the ventilation system as designed and always report damages so repairs can be done.

Operation of Heavy Mobile Equipment in the Mine Heavy mobile and operating equipment such as haul trucks, IT vehicles, rock breakers will all generate dust in an underground mine. The design and maintenance of the cabin is critical to protect the drivers health. Control Exposures Isolate workers from dusts in an air conditioned cabin with effective filter to supply precleaned and filtered air through a HEPA filter, minimum Class H 13. Effective door seals and windows closed. Pressurise the cabin to sufficient levels to prevent inward ingress of dust. The ability to continuously monitor cabin pressure with a system that alarms when the pressure is not adequate.

Operation of Heavy Mobile Equipment in the Mine ctn. Control Exposures Keep the cabin air vents clean. Water haul roads, use of dust suppressants may also assist dust reduction. Ensure speed limits observed as dust emissions can be reduced by slower vehicle speeds. Good cabin housekeeping with vacuum cleaner or water. Never use a brush or compressed air to carry out maintenance or to clean cabin.

Underground Roads and Walls Road and Wall dust can be minimised by : Spray roads and walls regularly with water Grading and maintenance of roads & walls Use surface treatment to bind and suppress road dust. Seal the walls and roof with treatments Good ventilation.

Crushing Control Exposures Isolate the crusher and restrict access to authorised personal only. Where appropriate, use water sprays and foggers to reduce dust. Isolate workers from dusts in an air conditioner with HEPA filter, pressurised, control room, with self closing doors with effective door seals. Use CCTV systems to enable miner to check the operation of the crusher without being exposed to dust Use of remote rock breakers.

Conveyors and Materials Handling Control Exposures The motion of Conveyor belts transporting ore out of the mine can cause airborne dust. Source: Dust Control Handbook for Industrial Minerals Mining and Processing, Cecala et al. , 2012 Minimise material spillage particularly at transfer points. Enclose transfer points. Utilising containment curtains at transfer points Use extraction ventilation at transfer points Fitting sprays to transfer points and return belts Keep conveyor belts clean to avoid carry back by installing scrapers. Material wetting systems utilising water sprays or other agents such as foams.

Improved Cleanliness of Work Areas Control Exposures Courtesy Hilti(Aust) P/L Lower respirable silica exposure standards will require a high standard of cleanliness in work areas to reduce airborne dust. Use a H - class vacuum cleaner to collect dust with an audible alarm to alert when the filter is clogged and needs replacing. Clean equipment and keep work areas clean by washing before and during maintenance work. Do not use air guns to clean areas with dust. Floor sweeping units can be used in high traffic areas.

Training Workers must aware of controls and competent to minimise dust production when operating vehicles and equipment. Ensure daily prestarts are performed to check that dust controls are operating appropriately. Identify damaged equipment and have it serviced to minimise dust exposure eg door seals and poor operation of air con system. Ensure miners have been fit tested and know how to wear their dust mask properly.

Respiratory Protection RPE is the last line of defence to prevent dust exposures. Key points to a successful RPE program can be found in AS 1715: 1. Appoint a program administrator 2. Selection of RPE eg toxicity of contaminant, exposure standard and physical suitability for task. 3. Medical screening of users of RPE, where appropriate. 4. Training 5. Issue of RPE 6. Fit Testing 7. Maintenance of RPE Image courtesy of the Queensland Government 8. Disposal of equipment 9. Record Keeping 10. Program evaluation.

Respiratory Protection Fit Testing Courtesy 3 M (Aust) Workers must pass a fit-test before they start wearing a tightfitting respirator. This includes paper disposable masks. Fittesting measures the effectiveness of the seal between the respirator and the wearers face. Men must be clean-shaven or only have facial hair that doesnt sit beneath the seal or interfere with the valve. Fit-test should be repeated each year. When issuing RPE, training by a competent person is required to ensure that workers correctly use and maintain RPE.

Risk Assessments - Air Monitoring Air monitoring can be used to check on respirable silica dust levels and the effectiveness of the controls and work practices. Monitoring must be performed by a competent occupational hygienist. Check the website: https: //www. aioh. org. au/resources/find-an-occupationalhygienist Respirable silica dust levels must be below the Safe Work exposure standard: https: //www. safeworkaustralia. gov. au/chemicals Courtesy of Qld Dept of Natural Resources Mining and Energy Results must be provided to the workers and made available for the occupational medical practitioner's performing the medicals.

Develop a Site Dust Management Plan which includes Identification and implementation of dust controls for each activity at a surface mine using the hierarchy of control principles to manage the risk of dust exposure to acceptable limits. Develops a process for the purpose of mitigating personal exposure when critical dust controls are not functioning to their designed specification. Reviews and ensure the effectiveness of controls in a systematic way. Include air monitoring for risk assessments and control evaluation when appropriate. Inspections, maintenance and monitoring controls and plant (the inspection, maintenance and monitoring should be performed by appropriately trained and competent personnel). Training miners about hazards and safe work practices to minimise dust exposures, in particular competent operation of equipment. Ensuring new vehicles and new equipment have dust controls incorporated to avoid retrofitting.

References 1. CDC - Dust Control Handbook for Industrial Minerals Mining and Processing Second Ed. , 2019, https: //www. cdc. gov/niosh/mining/User. Files/works/pdfs/2019 -124. pdf 2. WA - Mines Safety Bulletin No. 157, Minimising dust generation during crushing, screening and conveying. 3. Breathesafe (www. breathe-safe. com. au/images/PDF/Best-practice-for-coal-dustand-iron-ore-sites. pdf)

exposure to silica two hundred times greater in small-scale artisanal gold mines in tanzania, study says

New research conducted in Tanzania has found that silica dust in small-scale gold mining is linked to silicosis and tuberculosis (TB) epidemic, while the hazards in large gold mines are less. According to the research in the article titled Silica Exposures in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining in Tanzania and Implications for Tuberculosis Prevention exposures to silica are more than two hundred time greater in small-scale artisanal mines compared to larger mines. The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. It further noted that rates of TB among miners in Africa are about 5-6 times higher compared to the general population. It was found by researchers that the average airborne crystalline silica levels in underground gold mining operations were 337 times greater than the recommended limit, which is specified by the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. "It was found by researchers that the average airborne crystalline silica levels in underground gold mining operations were 337 times greater than the recommended limit." Almost 15 million artisanal miners worldwide are said to working without any dust control measures, the study noted. Occupational Knowledge International executive director Perry Gottesfeld said: "Silica dust hazards are being ignored while thousands of miners die each year due to silicosis and the alarmingly high rates of TB in these mining communities." "A recent global treaty has emphasised reducing mercury exposures among these gold miners, while silica dust hazards are overlooked, although they are likely to cause much more death and disease." Due to the combination of silica exposures and higher background rates of people with HIV, mining communities in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing an epidemic of TB. The study author Damian Andrew said: "The use of low-cost methods to control airborne dust could significantly reduce exposures and the risk of TB and silicosis in these communities." "Simple measures including water misting would be an effective method to greatly reduce silica dust exposures." Silica dust is said to be linked to TB and other lung diseases. It is a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer. Related Companies Specialist Mechanical Engineers Climate-Control Rooms, Air-Conditioning Units and Substations 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile McElroy Manufacturing Fusion Machinery for Joining Thermoplastic Pipes 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile CR Mining Digital Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation Solutions for Mining Applications 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile

According to the research in the article titled Silica Exposures in Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining in Tanzania and Implications for Tuberculosis Prevention exposures to silica are more than two hundred time greater in small-scale artisanal mines compared to larger mines. The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. It further noted that rates of TB among miners in Africa are about 5-6 times higher compared to the general population. It was found by researchers that the average airborne crystalline silica levels in underground gold mining operations were 337 times greater than the recommended limit, which is specified by the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. "It was found by researchers that the average airborne crystalline silica levels in underground gold mining operations were 337 times greater than the recommended limit." Almost 15 million artisanal miners worldwide are said to working without any dust control measures, the study noted. Occupational Knowledge International executive director Perry Gottesfeld said: "Silica dust hazards are being ignored while thousands of miners die each year due to silicosis and the alarmingly high rates of TB in these mining communities." "A recent global treaty has emphasised reducing mercury exposures among these gold miners, while silica dust hazards are overlooked, although they are likely to cause much more death and disease." Due to the combination of silica exposures and higher background rates of people with HIV, mining communities in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing an epidemic of TB. The study author Damian Andrew said: "The use of low-cost methods to control airborne dust could significantly reduce exposures and the risk of TB and silicosis in these communities." "Simple measures including water misting would be an effective method to greatly reduce silica dust exposures." Silica dust is said to be linked to TB and other lung diseases. It is a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer. Related Companies Specialist Mechanical Engineers Climate-Control Rooms, Air-Conditioning Units and Substations 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile McElroy Manufacturing Fusion Machinery for Joining Thermoplastic Pipes 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile CR Mining Digital Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation Solutions for Mining Applications 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile

The study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. It further noted that rates of TB among miners in Africa are about 5-6 times higher compared to the general population. It was found by researchers that the average airborne crystalline silica levels in underground gold mining operations were 337 times greater than the recommended limit, which is specified by the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. "It was found by researchers that the average airborne crystalline silica levels in underground gold mining operations were 337 times greater than the recommended limit." Almost 15 million artisanal miners worldwide are said to working without any dust control measures, the study noted. Occupational Knowledge International executive director Perry Gottesfeld said: "Silica dust hazards are being ignored while thousands of miners die each year due to silicosis and the alarmingly high rates of TB in these mining communities." "A recent global treaty has emphasised reducing mercury exposures among these gold miners, while silica dust hazards are overlooked, although they are likely to cause much more death and disease." Due to the combination of silica exposures and higher background rates of people with HIV, mining communities in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing an epidemic of TB. The study author Damian Andrew said: "The use of low-cost methods to control airborne dust could significantly reduce exposures and the risk of TB and silicosis in these communities." "Simple measures including water misting would be an effective method to greatly reduce silica dust exposures." Silica dust is said to be linked to TB and other lung diseases. It is a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer. Related Companies Specialist Mechanical Engineers Climate-Control Rooms, Air-Conditioning Units and Substations 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile McElroy Manufacturing Fusion Machinery for Joining Thermoplastic Pipes 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile CR Mining Digital Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation Solutions for Mining Applications 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile

It was found by researchers that the average airborne crystalline silica levels in underground gold mining operations were 337 times greater than the recommended limit, which is specified by the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. "It was found by researchers that the average airborne crystalline silica levels in underground gold mining operations were 337 times greater than the recommended limit." Almost 15 million artisanal miners worldwide are said to working without any dust control measures, the study noted. Occupational Knowledge International executive director Perry Gottesfeld said: "Silica dust hazards are being ignored while thousands of miners die each year due to silicosis and the alarmingly high rates of TB in these mining communities." "A recent global treaty has emphasised reducing mercury exposures among these gold miners, while silica dust hazards are overlooked, although they are likely to cause much more death and disease." Due to the combination of silica exposures and higher background rates of people with HIV, mining communities in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing an epidemic of TB. The study author Damian Andrew said: "The use of low-cost methods to control airborne dust could significantly reduce exposures and the risk of TB and silicosis in these communities." "Simple measures including water misting would be an effective method to greatly reduce silica dust exposures." Silica dust is said to be linked to TB and other lung diseases. It is a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer. Related Companies Specialist Mechanical Engineers Climate-Control Rooms, Air-Conditioning Units and Substations 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile McElroy Manufacturing Fusion Machinery for Joining Thermoplastic Pipes 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile CR Mining Digital Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation Solutions for Mining Applications 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile

Almost 15 million artisanal miners worldwide are said to working without any dust control measures, the study noted. Occupational Knowledge International executive director Perry Gottesfeld said: "Silica dust hazards are being ignored while thousands of miners die each year due to silicosis and the alarmingly high rates of TB in these mining communities." "A recent global treaty has emphasised reducing mercury exposures among these gold miners, while silica dust hazards are overlooked, although they are likely to cause much more death and disease." Due to the combination of silica exposures and higher background rates of people with HIV, mining communities in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing an epidemic of TB. The study author Damian Andrew said: "The use of low-cost methods to control airborne dust could significantly reduce exposures and the risk of TB and silicosis in these communities." "Simple measures including water misting would be an effective method to greatly reduce silica dust exposures." Silica dust is said to be linked to TB and other lung diseases. It is a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer. Related Companies Specialist Mechanical Engineers Climate-Control Rooms, Air-Conditioning Units and Substations 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile McElroy Manufacturing Fusion Machinery for Joining Thermoplastic Pipes 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile CR Mining Digital Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation Solutions for Mining Applications 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile

Occupational Knowledge International executive director Perry Gottesfeld said: "Silica dust hazards are being ignored while thousands of miners die each year due to silicosis and the alarmingly high rates of TB in these mining communities." "A recent global treaty has emphasised reducing mercury exposures among these gold miners, while silica dust hazards are overlooked, although they are likely to cause much more death and disease." Due to the combination of silica exposures and higher background rates of people with HIV, mining communities in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing an epidemic of TB. The study author Damian Andrew said: "The use of low-cost methods to control airborne dust could significantly reduce exposures and the risk of TB and silicosis in these communities." "Simple measures including water misting would be an effective method to greatly reduce silica dust exposures." Silica dust is said to be linked to TB and other lung diseases. It is a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer. Related Companies Specialist Mechanical Engineers Climate-Control Rooms, Air-Conditioning Units and Substations 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile McElroy Manufacturing Fusion Machinery for Joining Thermoplastic Pipes 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile CR Mining Digital Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation Solutions for Mining Applications 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile

"A recent global treaty has emphasised reducing mercury exposures among these gold miners, while silica dust hazards are overlooked, although they are likely to cause much more death and disease." Due to the combination of silica exposures and higher background rates of people with HIV, mining communities in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing an epidemic of TB. The study author Damian Andrew said: "The use of low-cost methods to control airborne dust could significantly reduce exposures and the risk of TB and silicosis in these communities." "Simple measures including water misting would be an effective method to greatly reduce silica dust exposures." Silica dust is said to be linked to TB and other lung diseases. It is a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer. Related Companies Specialist Mechanical Engineers Climate-Control Rooms, Air-Conditioning Units and Substations 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile McElroy Manufacturing Fusion Machinery for Joining Thermoplastic Pipes 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile CR Mining Digital Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation Solutions for Mining Applications 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile

Due to the combination of silica exposures and higher background rates of people with HIV, mining communities in sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing an epidemic of TB. The study author Damian Andrew said: "The use of low-cost methods to control airborne dust could significantly reduce exposures and the risk of TB and silicosis in these communities." "Simple measures including water misting would be an effective method to greatly reduce silica dust exposures." Silica dust is said to be linked to TB and other lung diseases. It is a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer. Related Companies Specialist Mechanical Engineers Climate-Control Rooms, Air-Conditioning Units and Substations 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile McElroy Manufacturing Fusion Machinery for Joining Thermoplastic Pipes 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile CR Mining Digital Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation Solutions for Mining Applications 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile

The study author Damian Andrew said: "The use of low-cost methods to control airborne dust could significantly reduce exposures and the risk of TB and silicosis in these communities." "Simple measures including water misting would be an effective method to greatly reduce silica dust exposures." Silica dust is said to be linked to TB and other lung diseases. It is a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer. Related Companies Specialist Mechanical Engineers Climate-Control Rooms, Air-Conditioning Units and Substations 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile McElroy Manufacturing Fusion Machinery for Joining Thermoplastic Pipes 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile CR Mining Digital Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation Solutions for Mining Applications 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile

"Simple measures including water misting would be an effective method to greatly reduce silica dust exposures." Silica dust is said to be linked to TB and other lung diseases. It is a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer. Related Companies Specialist Mechanical Engineers Climate-Control Rooms, Air-Conditioning Units and Substations 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile McElroy Manufacturing Fusion Machinery for Joining Thermoplastic Pipes 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile CR Mining Digital Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation Solutions for Mining Applications 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile

Silica dust is said to be linked to TB and other lung diseases. It is a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer. Related Companies Specialist Mechanical Engineers Climate-Control Rooms, Air-Conditioning Units and Substations 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile McElroy Manufacturing Fusion Machinery for Joining Thermoplastic Pipes 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile CR Mining Digital Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering Innovation Solutions for Mining Applications 28 Aug 2020 Visit Profile