Statement of Task

An ad hoc 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. 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.
  • 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.


The committee will identify important research gaps regarding monitoring and sampling protocols for controlling miners’ exposure to coal mine dust. It will not recommend changes to the requirements of the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA’s) final rule for lowering miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust, as the development of those requirements involves considerations beyond the scientific and technical focus of this study.

Academies Organizing Bodies

Board on Earth Sciences and Resources (lead unit)
Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology
Board on Health Science and Policy


Study Schedule

February 8-9, 2017
Meeting – Washington, DC

March 1-2, 2017
Meeting – Washington, DC

April 13-14, 2017
Meeting – Charleston, WV

June 29-30, 2017
Meeting – Morgantown, WV

August 10-11, 2017
Meeting – Washington, DC

October 5-6, 2017
Meeting – Washington, DC

January 2018
Report Expected


Click here to view The Academies’ primary site for committee activities.

Study Process
For a description of the steps in our study process, click here.