Needs on the rise – how do you shape up?
The emergence of the deadly black lung disease in Queensland’s coal mining industry is highlighting the importance for mining operators Australia-wide to limit dust exposure to workers, communities and the environment.
Dust emissions are an inevitable consequence of operations for the mining industry. Dust generation occurs throughout the mining, processing and transportation of minerals and related waste.
Airborne dust contains varying sizes of dust particles and is one of the most visible and hazardous in the Mining Industry, affecting health and environment. If control technologies are inadequate, hazardous levels of ‘inhalable’ and ‘respirable’ dust may be released into the environment potentially exposing workers, the environment and the surrounding community.
Damage to the lungs and airways can occur by breathing in dust. The type of dust particles can be composed of different chemicals, such as:
- dust containing crystalline silica
- coal dust
- dust containing metals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic
Respirable’ and ‘inhalable’ dust particles have been associated with increased cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary disease. In coal mining, prolonged exposure to excessive levels of coal dust can lead to pneumoconiosis (CWP), progressive massive fibrosis (PMF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Dust containing silica, commonly found in quartz mining, is also a widespread hazard and increases the risk of developing COPD. Other health problems that may occur include bronchitis, emphysema, silicosis, tuberculosis, chronic renal disease and lung cancer.
HOW WELL DO YOUR DUST CONTROL PRACTICES MEASURE UP?
Following are some points to consider when assessing the effectiveness of your controls for hazardous dust.
- What steps have you put in place to suppress dust particles at specific dust points?
- Is your treatment of dust at its point of generation effective?
- What solutions are in place for large open areas? How effective are your measures to prevent stockpile lift-off?
- Is there too much water use and not enough dust suppression?
- Do your water spray systems deliver the correct droplet size according to the dust particle or do you need to add an additive to bind the dust and water droplet.
- When applying proprietary chemicals into the water spray to change the surface tension for dust suppression – is the yearly cost justified, what damage is done to equipment?
- What impact does the chemical additive have on the composition of the material?
Mist and fogging technology designed, supplied and installed by CoolMist targets breathable and fugitive dust particles from 3 to 500 microns. The high pressure misting systems and AJET® Turbo fog cannons are tailored to suit operational needs and are the key to effective dust control.
The industrial systems safely suppress airborne dust particles emitted during mining activities and processes around the work site. Using inert material, only water and no chemicals, alleviates the risk of altering material characteristics while saving on the ongoing cost of additives and their impact on the environment.
NOT A MATTER OF ONE SIZE FITS ALL
CoolMist assist their clients with equipment selection and location. We match the water droplet size to the dust molecule size for the proper application of moisture to the situation and type of material requiring suppression. The air is filtered by the agglomeration of the imperceptible dust particles with billions of ultra-fine water droplets and ensures efficient use of water. The minimal amount of water used by the CoolMist range means there is little or no run-off from dust management, and no adverse effects on material processing.
System management options include automated / manual control or integrated with a centralised system.
Cool Mist’s range of products deliver dust suppression for indoor and outdoor areas and include:
- Material conveying
- Conveyors and transfer points
- Crushers, Hoppers, Trommels, Chutes, Bins and Feeders
- Hard Rock Mining and Processing
- Loading and Unloading operations on the mine and at the port facility
For more information on dust suppression systems, sales, rentals or demonstration, contact CoolMist on 1300 266 564. Website: www.coolmist.com.au.