Mine Real Time Personal Respirable Dust and Diesel Particulate Matter Monitoring


An overview is given of some new developments in mine atmospheric monitoring approaches. In particular two areas of new endeavour are highlighted. A new personal respirable dust monitor (PDM) that gives realtime readings is discussed. The unit is mounted within the miner's cap lamp battery and internally measures the true particle mass of dust collected on its filter. Samples are available for later mineralogical analysis and results do not exhibit the same sensitivity to water spray as optically based measurement approaches. The technique achieves microgram-level mass resolution even in the hostile mine environment and reports dust loading data on a continuous basis. The monitor has been evaluated under an Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) grant and is being adopted for statutory mine respirable dust determinations in the US. It has particular application for determining high source locations and efficiency of engineering means of suppression and other approaches to handling the problem. It has been recognised that the PDM's unique measurement approach has application to allow real time atmospheric Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) monitoring. The industry has no real time atmospheric DPM monitor at present. Recent surveys in New South Wales and Queensland continue to show significant numbers of miners continue to face full shift DPM exposures in excess of internationally accepted levels. Real time DPM monitoring will allow the industry to pin-point high exposure zones such as those encountered in coal longwall face moves, where a number of trucks, loaders, coal ram cars work or in areas of poor ventilation. Pinpointing of high DPM concentration zones will allow efficient modification of work practices to reduce underground miners exposure. Some outcome of a currently funded ACARP project in this area will be discussed.


Mining Engineering


Australian Coal Association Research Program
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Keywords and Phrases

PDM; Mine Atmospheric Monitoring; Personal Respirable Dust Monitor

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2007 Queensland Mining Industry, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2007