Submicrometer elemental carbon as a selective measure of diesel particulate matter in coal mines
Description:A monitoring method for diesel particulate matter was published as Method 5040 by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Organic and elemental carbon are determined by the method, but elemental carbon (EC) is a better exposure measure. The US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) proposed use of NIOSH 5040 for compliance determinations in metal and nonmetal mines. MSHA also published a rule making for coalmines, but no exposure standard was provided. A standard based on particulate carbon is not considered practical because of coal dust interference. Interference may not be a problem if an appropriate size-selective sampler and EC exposure standard are employed. Sub micrometer dust concentrations found in previous surveys of nondieselized, underground coal mines were relatively low. If a large fraction of the sub micrometer dust is organic and mineral matter, sub micrometer EC concentrations would be much lower than sub micrometer mass concentrations. Laboratory and ?eld results reported here in indicate the amount of EC contributed by sub micrometer coal dust is minor. In a laboratory test, a sub micrometer EC concentration of 31µg m 3 was found when sampling are spirable coal dust concentration over three times the US compliance limit (2mg m3). Laboratory results are consistent with surveys of nondieselized coal mines, where EC results ranged from below the method limit of detection to 18µg m 3 when size-selective samplers were used to collect dust fraction shaving particle diameters below 1.5µm sub micrometer EC concentrations were ?7µg m3. In dieselized mines, sub micrometer EC concentrations are much higher.
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