The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the Academies) has formed an ad hoc Committee on Occupational Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust in Underground Mines. In response to a study request from Congress and with the sponsorship of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the committee will assess monitoring and sampling approaches for informing underground coal mine operators’ decision-making regarding the control of respirable coal mine dust and mine worker exposure. In carrying out its task, the committee will:
Compare the monitoring technologies and sampling protocols (including sampling frequency) currently used or required in the United States, and in similarly industrialized countries for the control of respirable coal mine dust exposure in underground coal mines,
Assess the effects of rock dust mixtures and their application, as required by current U.S. regulations, on respirable coal mine dust measurements, and
Assess the efficacy of current monitoring technologies and sampling approaches, and develop science-based conclusions regarding optimal monitoring and sampling strategies to aid mine operators’ decision making related to reducing respirable coal mine dust exposure to miners in underground coal mines.