Air Sampling Programs Control for Fume and Asbestos Hazards
Read the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) report about controlling the hazards associated with the inhalation of asbestos and fumes in mines.
Good ventilation and reduced exposure time are two methods used to reduce health hazards from metal fumes.
Small, confined, unventilated conditions will produce the worst health hazards. Although outdoor operations will seldom produce overexposures to miners, only sampling can verify this assumption.
Permanent indoor facilities can be equipped with local exhaust ventilation to minimize the exposures. In general, the capture hood should be placed no further from the source of the contaminant than a distance equal to the size of the capture hood opening.
Care must be taken to place the capture hood where it will not draw the fumes across the miner's breathing zone en route to the exhaust duct. A hood placed above the miner's head, for example, may have ample capture velocity to remove the contaminant, but may do so by drawing the fumes across the miner's face.
The hood should be located behind the fume generation source so that it will remove the contaminant without exposing the miner.
Simple smoke tube checks may help determine the adequacy of the capture hood and the air currents in the miner's breathing zone. Inoperable fans, open doors or windows, holes in duct work or hoods, faulty bag houses, and improperly adjusted blast gates may defeat the ventilation system.
The effectiveness of well-designed systems is sometimes negated at a later date by the addition of collection points along a circuit.
Courtesy of MSHA
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