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Nanoparticle monitoring ensuring coal miners’ safety

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article image Testo DiSCmini is ideal for nanoparticle testing in coal mining
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An unfortunate fallout of coal mining is the rise in the number of workers developing degenerative lung diseases. Mine workers who are continuously exposed to coal dust can develop black lung disease with fatal consequences. Lack of regulations and laxity on the part of mine operators in Australia contribute significantly to this situation.

Various governments across the world have taken preventative measures to limit the health impact of coal mining; however, the fact that nearly 30 confirmed cases of black lung disease were detected in the country recently, according to the Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC), proves that current processes in place are ineffective.

According to the ABC report, environmental researchers have called on the Queensland government to put new policies in place to change how companies approach nanoparticle monitoring for coal mining.

This environment group explains that the Queensland Government essentially looks to the mining industry to regulate themselves. However, in the absence of regulations or compliance, workers as well as communities in the entire coalfields region have no access to air pollution monitoring data to know what they are breathing.

Four mines across the country were found to be non-compliant both in terms of overexposure to coal dust, as well as nanoparticle testing. People exposed to coal dust may develop Pneumoconioses, described as lung diseases caused by inhaling small particles such as crystalline silica or dusts kicked into the air or lingering underground.

Outdated nanoparticle testing equipment for coal mining can be inconvenient to use and even inaccurate at times.

The diffusion size classifier mini (DiSCmini) from Testo is a handheld device designed to provide air pollution measurements on the go. The device is an excellent tool for nanoparticle monitoring without the need for fluids or radioactive sources.

Testo’s DiSCmini is a proven asset for personal exposure monitoring with its ability to determine particle number concentration; average particle diameter; and lung deposited surface area.

Key features and advantages of the DiSCmini include smallest device on the market with ability to accurately monitor nanoparticles at any orientation; data captured through a secure digital memory card for convenient uploading to any computer for further analysis; handheld device eliminating traditional obstacles to environmental monitoring, thereby improving workplace safety; and versatile tool conducting airborne measurements and also used as an aerosol electrometer.

Recommended for the coal mining industry, the DiSCmini can conduct nanoparticle testing, enabling the industry to create safe work practices that will prevent fatalities from black lung disease.

Contact a Testo representative today for more information.

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