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NIOSH meeting discusses rock dust standard

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World Cement,

On 2 June ten representatives from the NSSGA PMD division participated in a rock dust partnership meeting with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of Mine Safety and Health Research in Pittsburgh, to discuss the rock dust standard. Including the NIOSH and MSHA personnel and other mining and labour stakeholders there were about 50 attendees. It was the sixth meeting of a multi-year process to improve the rock dust used to inert coal dust in mines.

NIOSH presented the results of recent testing to develop rock dust to prevent explosions in coal mines without increasing the respirable dust for workers. The results included findings from a pilot study that looked at treated and untreated rock dust as well as tests of a foam rock dust product. They also presented a study of the effectiveness of rock dust where most of the respirable particles had been removed – though material did not perform as well as that with the finer material.

The Group will now look at the economics of improved rock dusts, underground testing and increased research on materials that can lessen the risk of coal mine explosions. NSSGA staff re-iterated the commitment of members to work with NIOSH to develop a safe product.

Adapted from press release by

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