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    Quartz in Respirable Airborne Dust in Workplaces in Selected Coal and Metal Mines in India

    Published: 2013

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    India is endowed with huge reserves of various minerals (as many as 89) and, therefore, the mining sector is very large employing millions of workers who are regularly exposed, in various degrees, to quartz dust in workplaces. Although the mining sector is quite old and well established, the reported data related to dust and its quartz content are few and far between. The work presented herein is a study of the quartz content in respirable airborne dust generated in coal and metal (zinc and manganese) mines,with a view to evaluating the health risk of miners as per mines regulations. The direct-on-filter method using an Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer has been adopted for the determination of quartz. Personal air samplers were used to collect dust from different locations in mines on GLA-5000 PVC membrane filters. The air samplers were either attached with different workers engaged in a shift or placed in a position near to the dust-generation source in the mines to collect dust for direct-on-filter analysis. The proportion of quartz in the dust was determined from an estimation of the intensity of the doublet at 800 cm−1 calibrated against that of on-filter standard quartz dust. It has been found that the percentage of quartz in the dust in coal mines, especially in coking coal mines situated in the Jharia coalfield, is less than 1 % in almost all the workings, barring a few cases where it has exceeded this value. In contrast, the proportion of quartz in dust in metal mines exceeds 5 % in many workings. It has been found that wet drilling and good ventilation systems help to control dust problems at some locations, whereas rotation of workers may be needed in some places where it is difficult to suppress dust to a safe level.


    FTIR, quartz, airborne dust, mines, coal, metals

    Author Information:

    Kumar Bandopadhyay, Anup
    Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad, Jharkhand

    Kumari, Shobha
    Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research, Dhanbad, Jharkhand

    Committee/Subcommittee: D22.04

    DOI: 10.1520/STP156520120125