An open source article by James Noll. Diesel particulate matter (DPM) is considered carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and mine workers have some of the highest exposures to DPM in the USA. Therefore, mines have been developing control strategies for reducing DPM exposures of mine workers. Many of these strategies include engineering and administrative controls. In addition to these types of controls, a respirator program is used at some mines to provide further protection to mine workers where elevated concentrations of DPM exist. However, sometimes mine workers may feel restricted by the use of a half-mask respirator or inconvenienced by the requirement to remove facial hair. Another option which may be more appealing to some mine workers than a half-mask respirator is an airstream helmet, which provides filtered air in the breathing zone of the worker. The airstream helmet does not restrict breathing, provides some cooling, and does not require the worker to be clean shaven to work properly. These helmets are being used to help reduce respirable dust exposures in some coal mines, and this study investigated how effective this helmet may be for reducing DPM exposures. The airstream helmet with a HEPA filter was found to reduce DPM exposures by over 99% in static conditions by both mass and particle counting data. The airstream helmet can be an important part of a mine’s DPM control plan because it can provide clean air into a mine worker’s breathing zone in areas of elevated concentrations

Capability of the Airstream Helmet for Protecting Mine Workers from Diesel Particulate Matter


Last Updated: 26/02/2022 09:47:03am