Monthly Archives: September 2018

Is Dust Worse in Summer?

Dust mites and allergies

Summer is on the way and so are allergies!  Take a look at the articles below for some info and some solutions.  Excerpts have been taken from both articles – for the complete article, please follow the links provided.

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How to Beat Summer AllergiesWebMD

“Spring’s over, but you’re still stopped up, sniffly, and sneezing.

Welcome to summer allergy season. It keeps going long after April’s showers and May’s flowers are gone.

Many of the same triggers are to blame. Once you know what they are, you can take steps to get treated.

Pollen Is the Biggest Culprit
Trees are usually done with their pollen-fest by late spring. That leaves grasses and weeds to trigger summer allergies.

Smog: It’s Worst This Time of Year
Summer air pollution can make your symptoms worse. One of the most common is ozone at the ground level. It’s created in the atmosphere from a mix of sunlight and chemicals from car exhaust. Summer’s strong sunlight and calm winds create clouds of ozone around some cities.

Tiny Things Grow in Warm Air
Molds love damp areas, including the basement and bathrooms. Their spores get into the air and set off an allergic reaction.

Microscopic insects called dust mites peak during summer. They thrive in warm, humid temperatures and nest in beds, fabric, and carpets. Their residue can get into the air and set off sneezes, wheezes, and runny noses.

How to Make Allergy Season Easier
Take some simple steps to avoid your triggers.

Stay inside when the pollen count and smog levels are high.
Keep your doors and windows closed. Run your air conditioner to keep allergens out. Use an air purifier.
Clean air filters in your home often. Also clean bookshelves, vents, and other places where pollen collects.
Wash bedding and rugs in hot water to get rid of dust mites and other allergens.
Wash your hair, shower, and change your clothes after you go outside.
Vacuum often and wear a mask. The process can kick up pollen, mold, and dust trapped in your carpet. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Wear a mask when you mow your lawn to avoid grass pollen.
Keep the humidity in your house between 30% and 50% so dust mites won’t thrive.”

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Dust Mite Solutions 

The Worst Time of Year for Dust Mite Allergy Symptoms

“If you have a dust mite allergy, you might wonder when the worst time of year is for dust mite symptoms. Could it be the Spring, Summer, Autumn, or Winter…or all of them. For many people suffering from dust mite allergy it probably seems like the suffering never stops. I agree!

In this article, I’ll share my personal experience with year-round dust mite allergy, typical symptoms, and some general treatment advice that was given to me by allergists. In addition, we’ll look at a few ways to improve your health and reduce your dust mite exposure.

Seasonal Pollen Allergies and Year-Round Dust Mite Allergies
For many allergy sufferers, seasonal exposure yields symptoms. For others, it may feel like one season is just as bad as another. For example, tree pollen season usually corresponds with spring when the weather warms and trees emerge from dormancy. Here is a guide to show when you might expect pollen allergy symptoms:

Pollen
Spring – trees
Summer – grasses
Fall – weeds
Winter – relief!

But what about Dust Mite allergy?
Well it’s not that simple. Dust mites live around us, primarily in our homes. They are less dependent on seasonality and more dependent on us!

Dust mite allergy is a unique allergy because dust mites are a living creature with short life spans. They need little water to survive (they absorb it through the air) and live off an endless supply of food that humans and pets produce on a daily basis. Their food source is, yes you guessed it, dead skin.

Our home environment allows dust mites to thrive and multiply throughout the year. Believe it or not, you cannot see dust mites. They are microscopic, and their presence in your home is almost guaranteed.

If you’re not sure whether you have a dust mite allergy here is a simple but accurate tip: If you have year-round allergy symptoms there is a good chance it’s due to dust mites.

In Summer Consider These Actions to Protect From Dust Mites
Dust Mite Proof Bedding (covers)

Beds are the number 1 home to dust mites. Protect your mattresses and pillows with dust-mite proof covers. We reviewed and recommended these mattress covers!

Dehumidifiers

If you live in a humid environment think about purchasing a dehumidifier that can reduce indoor moisture levels. Dehumidifiers can help reduce the dust mite population and reduce mold growth, especially if you have a basement.

Air Purifiers

Newer air purifiers can do wonders for cleaning indoor air. HEPA technology filters, which pick up the smallest particulates from the air can clean a whole room in 2 hours. Air Purifiers are a great addition for allergic individuals. Keep one air purifier in each room!

Air Conditioning Filters

Replace your filters in the winter and summer and buy allergy filters that remove the finest of particulates from the air. Filtrete has some great filters that not only keep out dust mites and allergens, but also odors, chemicals, and smoke (amazing).

Don’t Sweep, Use HEPA Vacuums!

Sweeping only stirs dust into the air and dust can stay suspended for hours, long after you’ve cleaned. HEPA filter vacuums suck in dust and capture it before air is released back into the room. HEPA vacuums work great for people with dust mite allergy and asthma.”

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Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Dust Storms in the Sahara

Sahara Dust Storms

There have been a large amount of dust storms in Africa over the last few month.  I hope you enjoy the read!

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Vast Dust Storms in the Sahara

Earth Observatory

“In late March 2018, North Africa endured a maelstrom of sand, with far-reaching effects. Dust from the Sahara spread north into Europe last week, coating ski slopes and Mediterranean cities in orange particles. In western Africa, tons of dust blew out over the Atlantic, perhaps headed for the Americas.

Even by the standards of the desert interior of Africa, the storms of late March have been intense. Schools and airports have been shut down in Sudan and Egypt, among other places, and a thick orange haze has filled the air as wind-driven sandstorms, or haboobs, stirred up the Sahara.

Though there is often some amount of dust being blown around in North Africa, recent activity appeared to pick up (as viewed by satellite) on March 21, 2018, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired the top image. A full week later, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired the second image, a natural-color view of an intense wave of dust in northeastern Africa. Major plumes of dust were visible somewhere around the Sahara on every day between those images.

“Springtime dust from Africa is interesting,” said Hongbin Yu, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “Our analysis of multiple satellite measurements shows that in recent years annual dust variability is dominated by the spring. Surface wind is likely to be a dominating factor, although soil moisture and vegetation cover in Sahel-Sahara transition region also contribute.”

NASA recently began a collaboration with a science team at Cornell University to examine the climate effects of dust storms. Researchers will build an instrument, to be mounted on the International Space Station, that can detect the mineral composition of airborne dust. Minerals of various colors, sizes, and chemistry can have different warming or cooling effects on the atmosphere.”

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Dust storms ease across Africa and Middle East
“Huge amounts of dust have been on the move in recent days causing poor visibility from central Africa to the Levant.”

3 Apr 2018

Aljazeera

“Visibility across vast swaths of northern and central Africa and the Arabian Peninsula has been severely reduced since Thursday as a large-scale disturbance has resulted in huge quantities of Saharan dust being dispersed across the region.

A low pressure system developed over the desert region of Libya and the resulting circulation was responsible for dust being lifted high into the atmosphere. It swept from Egypt and Sudan, across the Arabian Peninsula and on into Kajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

There were no reports of flight cancellations, but visibility was severely reduced and many people reported increased respiratory problems.

While much of the dust swept eastwards, some was swept up from Chad and transported southwards and westwards on the northeasterly trade wind known as the Harmatten. Niger, Mali, northern Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso have all been affected.

Chad is the main source of Saharan dust. There are two key locations here. One is the Bodele Depression – the dried up remains of the ancient Lake Megachad.

The other is the Tibesti mountain area in the north of the country. Here, the volcanic mountains are rapidly eroded to dust by the harsh climate.

On a positive note, this mineral dust has great benefits. It will eventually find its way around much of the globe before being deposited in the Caribbean, Asia, South America, Europe and elsewhere.

The dust helps to build soil fertility, being rich in phosphorus, potassium, calcium and iron, depending on its source.”

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Dust storm slams Senegal
“The severe weather signals a dramatic start to the country’s rainy season.”

30 Jun 2018

Aljazeera 

“A sandstorm has battered Senegal leaving livestock dead and damaging the newly opened airport.

A wall of dust swept across the capital, Dakar, reducing visibility and bringing winds gusting to 90 kilometres per hour.

This type of dust storm is known as a “haboob” and is common in some parts of the world, such as the Arabian Peninsula, the Sahara and the desert southwest of the US. However, it is believed to be the first time that such a storm has churned over Senegal.

The word haboob is thought to have originated from Sudan and comes from the Arabic word for wind. The storms are formed when air blows strongly downwards, towards the ground, picking up vast amounts of dust. This usually happens as the result of a decaying thunderstorm.

The strong winds led to the death of a number of livestock and caused damage to the airport.

Planes were damaged, as was the terminal building, which only opened six months ago.

The haboob was followed by thunderstorms, which brought heavy rain and signalled the start of Senegal’s rainy season, which runs until October.”

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Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

Dust Bucket Sizes

In response to a request to supply buckets that are 300mm high and 150 mm in diameter, the following response was prepared.

Our buckets are not that size.  The only bucket that size is from America and will need to be imported.  All the South African buckets I have seen of that size are made up by hand and the quality control on the buckets would need to be checked so that there are no crevices for the dust to hide in on the inside of the bucket.  Some of these buckets are also not white, which makes it very difficult to know when the dust is washed out of the bucket completely.

DustWatch provides the normal 5 litre buckets that are a diameter of 17.1cm and a height of 23.6cm, as per the comment in our DustWatch manual

“The DustWatch buckets are not twice as high as they are wide with a diameter of 17.1cm and a height of 23.6cm”

We have explored the option of using a bucket extension to place on top of the buckets in the field, but the additional variables this introduces to the collection of the dust in the bucket has meant that we no longer encourage clients to use this option.  See the image below for an example.

White 5 litre bucket with Lid – ZAR each – With Blue Bucket Extension

An image of the bucket on its own is shown below.

Bucket with Lid – ZAR each (For less than 210 buckets) Bucket with Lid – ZAR Each – In multiples of 210 or with other equipment


The buckets from the USA are these ones – 

https://www.humboldtmfg.com/plastic-single-use-cylinder-molds.html for the containers and then also the lids https://www.humboldtmfg.com/cylinder-mold-plastic-lid-h-3041.html

“These buckets sometimes come with a little notch in the top of the container which makes it leak more when not kept vertical.  Buckets without the notch are available as well, but even without the notch the buckets are not totally leak proof.”

Please contact DustWatch regarding any queries.

Kind Regards

Chris Loans

CSIR unveils technologies to enhance mine safety

Mine safety

CSIR unveils technologies to enhance mine safetyMining Weekly

BY: NADINE JAMES
CREAMER MEDIA WRITER

“JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – It is unlikely that the mining industry will attain its goal of zero harm by 2020 and, as such, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has revealed some of the mine safety technologies it is developing and looking to commercialise.

Speaking at the Mandela Mining Precinct, on Tuesday, CSIR principal geophysicist Dr Michael van Schoor spoke about ground penetrating radar (GPR) and how it could be used to improve roof bolting applications, as well as detecting potential faults in the hanging wall.

He pointed out that 40% of all mine incidents resulted from fall of ground incidents.

With regard to general fault detection, he explained that GPR works similarly to speed traffic radar detection systems, as the GPR transmits a signal down into the ground and faults are mapped on a radargram based on the amplification and duration of the return signal.

Van Schoor added that the CSIR is developing the technology to produce three-dimensional maps which could be integrated, in real-time, to an existing mine plan.

Other technologies under development include an instrument called Rock Pulse, which is a device that can be attached to the rock to detect fracturing. Once the rock starts fracturing, the device alerts miners of a potential imminent collapse.

The device is meant to be used in close proximity to miners and should give miners at least 90 seconds to enable them to evacuate the area.

The device has been tested in coal mining applications, where rock fracturing is part of the mining process. It can, however, also be used for hard rock applications.

CSIR principal engineer Shaniel Davrajh added that the institution has also developed an enhanced pedestrian detection system which uses algorithms to predict whether a collision is imminent, thereby eliminating unnecessary vehicle stoppages.

Further, he noted that the CSIR has developed a robot platform equipped with safety inspection sensors to enter mines during safety periods. The robot, called Monster, aims to assess and identify risks for underground mines, using thermal imaging and audio sensors.

CSIR principal researcher Dr Dave Roberts explained that the thermal imaging sensor could be used to detect loose rocks, based on the knowledge that loose rocks cool faster than the hanging wall because of the increased ventilation.

Davrajh noted that the sensor could detect temperature differences as small as 0.1 °C, and that the Monster could mark areas as potentially hazardous. The audio sensor works similarly to ‘tapping a watermelon to determine whether it is ripe’, he added.

The CSIR Monster prototype has been trialed at the precinct’s stope simulation, which has a decline of around 30°.

The event was attended by various stakeholders, including the Minerals Council South Africa, the departments of Science and Technology and Mineral Resources and representatives from industry, besides others.”

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7 Steps to Safer, Healthier Mining EmployeesMining Safety

“You don’t need us to tell you that you have a tough job. But taking these seven steps can make your job easier and your workplace safer. You’re probably already doing most or all of these things, but just in case, here’s a quick review.

Ensure compliance with safety and health standards.
Make sure you’re complying in every detail with every standard that applies to your operations and your workplace. Also check state regulations, which if they’re stricter than federal standards, take precedence. And don’t forget about your own safety policies. Ensure compliance with those rules, too.

Keep employees informed about hazards.
Identify every hazard in every work area and in every job, and make sure employees who might be exposed to any hazards know:
What the hazards are
How they are dangerous
How to protect against them
What to do in the event of exposure to a particular hazard

Take appropriate steps to minimize risks.
This involves many things including:
Well-conceived and implemented workplace safety and health programs
Routine and thorough inspections and safety audits
Effective engineering, administrative, and work practice controls
Frequent and effective employee training
Appropriate PPE to protect employees from hazards when controls are not enough
Routine workplace maintenance

Teach employees to work safely.
Training is one of your most power accident-prevention tools. Teach the information, skills, techniques, and procedures employees need to know to be safe and healthy. Train frequently to keep workers up to date on workplace and regulatory changes and to keep them aware, alert, and prepared to work safely.

Monitor performance and provide feedback.
Don’t assume that workers will use what they learn in training or do what their supervisors tell them to do. For all kinds of reasons workers will decide to take risks or ignore warnings and instructions. Make sure your supervisors monitor safety performance and provide positive or corrective feedback to maintain safe and healthy behavior.

Pay attention to employees’ suggestions and complaints.
You may not be able to use all the suggestions or be thrilled about the complaints, but listening to employees is essential if you want to get them to be on board with your safety and health programs and to follow your safety rules. The big plus here is that employee participation leads to employee ownership, which leads to employee-driven safety and a safer workplace.

Move quickly to correct problems.
Foot-dragging over hazard abatement sends a bad message to employees. It says you don’t care about their safety. So take swift and effective action whenever a safety or health problem is brought to your attention.”

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Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.

And while we were changing dust buckets……….

It’s not all hard work…….  Vollie the Killer Volstruis gave us a fabulous show during one of our dust bucket changes.

Vollie the Killer Volstruis   –   Click to watch the video.