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Workers Exposure To Airborne Particulates In Opencast And Underground Mining Operations: A Database Approach For Risk Assessment And Management


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S Francese, M Patrucco & G Scioldo


Workers exposure to airborne particulate in opencast and underground mining operations: a database approach for risk assessment and management S. Francese1, M. Patrucco2, G. Scioldo3 1 DICHI Politecnico - Torino, Italy. 2 DIGEZ Politecnico - Torino, Italy. 3 Geo &Soft Sri, Torino, Italy. Abstract In the last decade new concern rose, due to the evidence that the consequence of the workers exposure in mining and quarrying activities to some typical rock dust was in past underestimated. This is the case of dust containing crystalline silica (quartz and cristobalite), classified by IARC as A 1 class confirmed human carcinogens. A careful approach to the risk analysis is then necessary, to predict the workers expectable exposure conditions, and to identify the most suitable pollutant control technique. The goal can be achieved on the basis of a database, presently rich of more than 500 data from field measurements, references on each mining operation, info on the airborne dust sampling and analysis criteria, and on the control measures. The main features and results are here discussed of a user-friendly software specially designed to analyze the results of further measurements, directly and in comparison to similar mining situations, allowing database updates through the TCP/IP protocol. 1 The problem and the proposed approach Opencast and underground mining and quarrying activities involve a remarkable airborne dust air pollution at the workplaces, due to over-fragmentation in the winning, loading/transportation, crushing I sizing or processing operations. In the last decade new concern rose, due to the results of epidemiological investigations demonstrating that the possible consequence of an exposure to some typical rock exploitation dust was in past somehow underestimated. This is