Seasonal Variation in Respirable Dust Concentration in U.S. Coal Mines
Description:The Bureau of Mines examined the possibility of a seasonal variation of respirable dust concentration in U.S. coal mines. The first step was to review company and MSHA-inspector dust samples that had been collected during the past several years in 14 selected mines for compliance purposes. Results indicated severe scatter in data; most standard deviations of the dust concentrations measured in winter and summer months were comparable in magnitude with the mean values of dust concentrations for the seasons. Therefore, a detailed statistical analysis was conducted. At the 90% confidence level, the company samples of three mines had winter means 0.15 to 0.54 mg/m3 higher than the summer means; six mines had negligible seasonal variations; and five mines had winter means that ranged from higher to lower than the summer means. Inspector data, however, were too sparse for analysis. In view of both the low frequency of occurrence of a seasonal effect and its wide scatter in several of the mines, the study was ended with the conclusion that seasonal varia-tion in respirable dust levels, in general, is an insignificant factor.
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