Presented at the 2015 Mining Health and Safety Conference
Diesel Particulate in Mines – Current Knowledge and Solutions
Natural Resources Canada
The diesel engine is the workhorse used in almost every heavy-duty mobile equipment application. In mining, diesel-powered production equipment of ever-increasing size offers mine operators the power, reliability and flexibility needed to maintain high levels of productivity. But, in the early 1980s it became more and more evident that the exhaust from diesel engines was a health concern, with the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health stating that diesel exhaust as a whole is a potential human carcinogen. The overall toxicity of several diesel exhaust components is well documented and regulated, with new evidence now available on the carcinogenicity and possible effects on the cardio-vascular system of diesel particulate matter. Ongoing developments in electronic engine controls have led to dramatic reductions in diesel emissions and improved fuel economy but the health concerns associated with these emissions remain. This presentation will provide background information on the generation of diesel particulate matter, health concerns, sampling and analysis of these emissions, as well as control strategies and development initiatives aimed at reducing emissions and exposure.