Monthly Archives: July 2020

DustWatch Product Videos

Hello everyone!

Take a look at our new dust bucket units.  Follow the links to watch the instructional videos.

In the first video, Chris Loans will show you how to change the buckets on the new DustWatch unit.

The second video is an operational training video on our new American type unit. The video will show you how to assemble and disassemble the unit.

Video – How to change buckets

Video – American type unit

I hope you enjoy the videos and find them helpful.

Have a great day!

DustWatch Product Videos

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

Dust Monitoring Training Courses August 2020

Dust Monitoring Training Courses for August 2020

Dust Monitoring Training Courses for 2020 - Chris Loans

The next Fallout Dust Monitoring course is 11th August 2020 Pretoria.

11-13 Aug (Pretoria)

R4400 per person per day. The course has 3 CPD points if all three days are attended.

If you would like to attend or to send a representative, then please email or call 021 789 0847 or 082 875 0209 to reserve a place.

Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding any queries, comments, or suggestions.

Synopsis of Training – Practical 1 Day:

  • Changing DustWatch buckets
  • Basic operational use of the DustWatch units
  • Filtering water from the buckets and collecting the dust on filters.

Synopsis of Training – Theoretical 2 Days:

  • What is fallout dust and how to collect it;
  • Settling velocity and shape of dust particles;
  • Understand how to calculate the fallout dust monitoring results in mg/m2/day and how to interpret these results;
  • Trace element analysis;
  • South African legislation interpretation;
  • Report writing and interpretation of results.


Chris Loans


Sensing the Air Quality

How do we tackle the problem of air quality? A particle sensor has been made that can detect the amount of dust in the air.  Read the following introduction to the article and then click the link to read the article itself to find out more.


Sensing the Air Quality

“Sensing the Air Quality
A low-cost IoT Air Quality Monitor based on RaspberryPi 4

By – Marcelo Rovai
Aug 22, 2019

I have the privilege of living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but unfortunately, it’s not all roses. Chile during winter season suffers a lot with air contamination, mainly due to particulate materials as dust and smog.

Because of cold weather, in the south, air contamination is mainly due to wood-based calefactors and in Santiago (the main capital in the center of the country) mixed from industries, cars, and its unique geographic situation between 2 huge mountains chains.

Nowadays, air pollution is a big problem all over the world and in this article we will explore how to develop a low expensive homemade Air Quality monitor, based on a Raspberry Pi.

The particulate matter (PM), what is, and how does it get into the air?
So, to understand pollution or air contamination, we must study the particles that are related to that, that are also known as particulate matter. Looking at the graphs on the previous section we can observe that they mentioned PM2.5 and PM10. Let’s give a quick overview of that.
PM stands for particulate matter (also called particle pollution): the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope.
Particles come in a wide range of sizes. Particles less than or equal to 10 micrometers in diameter are so small that they can get into the lungs, potentially causing serious health problems. Ten micrometers is less than the width of a single human hair.

Particle pollution includes:
Coarse dust particles (PM10): inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller. Sources include crushing or grinding operations and dust stirred up by vehicles on roads.
Fine particles (PM2.5) : fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller. Fine particles are produced from all types of combustion, including motor vehicles, power plants, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, and some industrial processes

Why is important care about those particulate matters?
As described by GERARDO ALVARADO Z. in his work at Chile University, studies of episodes of high air pollution in the Meuse Valley (Belgium) in 1930, Donora (Pennsylvania) in 1948 and London in 1952 have been the first documented sources that related mortality with particle contamination (Préndez, 1993). Advances in the investigation of the effects of air pollution on people’s health have determined that health risks are caused by inhalable particles, depending on their penetration and deposition in different sections of the respiratory system, and the Biological response to deposited materials.
The thickest particles, about 5 μm, are filtered by the joint action of the cilia of the nasal passage and the mucosa that covers the nasal cavity and the trachea. Particles with a diameter between 0.5 and 5 μm can be deposited in the bronchi and even in the pulmonary alveoli, however, they are eliminated by the cilia of bronchi and bronchioles after a few hours. Particles smaller than 0.5 μm can penetrate deeply until they are deposited in the pulmonary alveoli, remaining from weeks to years, since there is no mucociliary transport mechanism that facilitates elimination.

So, to spot both types of particles (PM2.5 and PM10) are very important and the good news is that both are readable by a simple and not expensive sensor, the SDS011.

The Particle Sensor — SDS011
Air Quality monitoring is well known and established science which started back in the 80’s. At that time, the technology was quite limited, and the solution used to quantify the air pollution complex, cumbersome and really expensive.
Fortunately, nowadays, with the most recent and modern technologies, the solutions used for Air Quality monitoring are becoming not only more precise but also faster at measuring. Devices are becoming smaller, and cost much more affordable than ever before.
In this article we will focus on a particle sensor, that can detect the amount of dust in the air. While the first generation was just able to detect the amount of opacity, most recent sensors as the SDS011 from INOVAFIT, a spin-off from the University of Jinan (in Shandong), can now detect PM2.5 and PM10.”

Click the link above to read the article.


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

Airborne Diseases

This is an article from Division of Disease Surveillance – Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention outlining diseases that are airborne or direct contact diseases.

Please follow the link to read the article in full.

Airborne Diseases

Airborne and Direct Contact Diseases

Airborne Diseases

“Airborne diseases are caused by pathogenic microbes small enough to be discharged from an infected person via coughing, sneezing, laughing and close personal contact or aerosolization of the microbe.  The discharged microbes remain suspended in the air on dust particles, respiratory and water droplets. Illness is caused when the microbe is inhaled or contacts mucus membranes or when secretions remaining on a surface are touched.

Transmission of airborne diseases can be greatly reduced by practicing social and respiratory etiquette. Staying home when ill, keeping close contact with an ill person to a minimum, allowing a few feet distance from others while ill, and wearing a mask, covering coughs and sneezes with elbow or tissue can greatly reduce transmission. Good hand washing can decrease spread of germ-containing droplets that could be picked up on hands from surfaces or hand contact with secretions.  Environmental controls and engineering alternatives help reduce transmission of water droplet aerosolized pathogens.

Contact Diseases

Contact Diseases are transmitted when an infected person has direct bodily contact with an uninfected person and the microbe is passed from one to the other. Contact diseases can also be spread by indirect contact with an infected person’s environment or personal items. The presence of wound drainage or other discharges from the body suggest an increased potential for risk of transmission and environmental contamination.  Precautions that create a barrier and procedures that decrease or eliminate the microbe in the environment or on personal belongings, form the basis of interrupting transmission of direct contact diseases.

Airborne and Direct Contact Diseases Include:

  • Acute Flaccid Myelitis – A rare but serious condition that affects the spinal cord and causes muscles and reflexes to become weak.
  • Anthrax – A serious disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium that forms spores. A bacterium is a very small organism made up of one cell. Many bacteria can cause disease. A spore is a cell that is dormant (asleep) but may come to life with the right conditions.
  • Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) – Enterobacteriaceae (En-tero-bac-te-ri-a-ce-ae) are a family of bacteria normally found in our gut.  They can also cause serious infection in the bladder, blood, wound and lungs.
  • Coronavirus – Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that includes viruses that may cause a range of illnesses in humans, from the common cold to SARS and MERS.
  • Enterovirus – Non-polio enteroviruses are very common viruses that cause about 10 to 15 million infections in the United States each year.
  • Group A Streptococcus – A bacterium often found in the throat and on the skin. People may carry group A streptococci in the throat or on the skin and have no symptoms of illness. Most GAS infections are relatively mild illnesses such as “strep throat,” or impetigo. Occasionally these bacteria can cause severe and even life-threatening diseases.
  • Invasive Group B Streptococcal (GBS) – A bacterium that causes illness in newborn babies, pregnant women, the elderly, and adults with other illnesses, such as diabetes or liver disease. GBS is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborns.
  • Haemophilus influenza – Invasive disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b can affect many organ systems. The most common types of invasive disease are pneumonia, occult febrile bacteremia, meningitis, epiglottitis, septic arthritis, cellulitis, otitis media, purulent pericarditis, and other less common infections such as endocarditis, and osteomyelitis.
  • Influenza – A disease that is caused by a virus and infects the nose, throat, and lungs. Influenza can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people.
  • Legionellosis – An infection caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. Maine monitors the incidence of Legionellosis through mandatory reporting by health care providers, clinical laboratories and other public health partners.
  • Measles – A respiratory disease caused by a virus that causes fever, runny nose, cough, and a rash all over the body.
  • Meningococcal Disease – The leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children and young adults in the United States. Symptoms of meningococcal disease include fever, headache and stiff neck in meningitis cases, and sepsis and rash in meningococcemia.
  • MERS-CoV – Currently, all cases are associated with either direct travel to the Arabian peninsula, or contact with a returned traveler from the Arabian peninsula.
  • Mumps – A disease caused by a virus that usually starts with a fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite followed by swelling of glands.
  • MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus is a bacterial infection that is resistant to some antibiotics. When MRSA bacteria are found on the skin but do not cause illness it is called “colonization.” In most cases, MRSA does not cause any problems or causes minor infections, such as pimples or boils. In some cases, MRSA can cause more serious infections.
  • Pertussis – A respiratory illness that usually starts with cold-like symptoms including a cough that can worsen after a few weeks. Pertussis is commonly known as whooping cough.
  • Plague – Plague is a disease caused by Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis), a bacterium found in rodents and their fleas in many areas around the world.
  • RSV – RSV is a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages.  Healthy people usually experience mild, cold-like symptoms, but RSV can be serious especially for infants and older adults.
  • Strep pneumoniae – a Gram-positive encapsulated coccus that often colonizes the human nasopharynx, where it can be carried asymptomatically.
  • SARS – respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus, last reported in 2004
  • Tuberculosis – A disease caused by a bacterium that usually attacks the lungs.
  • Varicella – A disease commonly known as chickenpox that is caused by a virus. The most common symptom is a skin rash found mostly on the face, scalp, and trunk.”


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

Eskom plans to convert old coal mines

The role that Eskom plays in mining and it’s daily activities is huge.  What does Eskom plan for the future?

Please follow the link to read the original article.


Eskom plans to convert old coal mines and plants into gas, solar and wind power generators
By Chris Yelland• 21 April 2020

Eskom plans to convert old coal mines and plants into gas, solar and wind power generators

“This third article from the interview by Chris Yelland with André de Ruyter on 15 April 2020 covers Eskom’s response to climate change and the need for a just energy transition in South Africa towards a greener future.

(To listen to the article or to read the first and second articles please follow the link to the source of the article)

With Eskom being the country’s largest emitter of CO2 through the burning of coal for power generation, what is Eskom doing to reduce its carbon footprint, what are the key ingredients for unlocking a just energy transition in South Africa, and what role should Eskom be playing in this transition?

I must stress that Eskom fully recognises the importance of climate change and the fact that it has a negative impact, not only on the world, but in particular on South Africa as well.

South Africa is a signatory to the Paris Agreement and, therefore, as a major emitter of greenhouse gasses, we need to contribute to global efforts to address climate change. But that implies there is going to be a very wrenching adjustment from an economy built on cheap coal and cheap energy to an economy that is far more resilient and far less reliant on carbon.

The structural underpinnings of our economy have not changed yet and we are not very well prepared for the energy transition that is underway globally. That does not mean we can resist the energy transition. I think we need to accelerate very quickly on this long road in order to catch up and take advantage of the latest developments in technology.

If you look at the cost curves for renewable energy, compared to those for fossil-based energy, it is clear the technology developments and affordability of renewable energy have been such that you cannot afford to ignore this. It is beyond any doubt that wind and solar energy will play a key role in our energy portfolio and mix going forward. But that does not mean we will be able to back out of coal overnight.

This is going to be a long passage as we wind down our reliance on coal and, unfortunately, I think we will be a major coal consumer and hence a major emitter of greenhouse gasses and associated pollutants for some time.

We are now on the verge of retiring some of our older coal-fired power stations. This affords us the opportunity to consider repurposing them to natural gas and to use the vacant land around those power stations, where we can rehabilitate open-cast mines for solar or wind power generation.

These properties are now owned by Eskom to use and you may be aware that Eskom recently issued a request for expressions of interest and proposals for the repurposing of decommissioned coal-fired power stations, with a closing date of 10 June 2020.

Some may see old coal-fired power stations that have reached the end of their economic life, and are heavy emitters of carbon and also other pollutants, as a liability. We see these as potential assets and exciting opportunities that can be used to create a just transition.

These opportunities provide a future for communities that have helped develop this country and allowed us to benefit from mining and using coal for low-cost electricity generation for the last 60 years. We cannot just leave them in the lurch, leaving ghost towns and communities behind as festering political, social and economic wounds.

So, the call for expressions of interest and proposals on our website is an indication of the seriousness with which we take this repurposing. We believe that, if we do this right, we can also enable solutions to the significant decommissioning costs we would have to incur.

By extending the life of these power stations we can enable a just social transition and a just energy transition. At the same time, this will allow some of the private entities and communities that have expressed an interest in investing in these repurposed power stations to participate with us in public-private partnerships (PPPs).

You may be familiar with the Tennessee Valley Authority that repurposed a coal-fired power station. They were able to save anything between 30% to 35% of the capital cost of building a greenfields gas-fired power station by repurposing an old coal-fired power station. This gives an idea, from an economic perspective, of the fantastic opportunity we have.

Again, this is a perceived disadvantage that we are seeking to turn into a plus.

Of course, there must be significant savings in jobs that one can effect at these old power stations and at the old coal mines themselves, by taking advantage of the existing skills and infrastructure, roads, schools, clinics, even grid connections. This must surely lead to massive job and cost savings in such a transition?

Correct. And, Chris, I think there are further benefits here that we should explore.

We need to drive an appropriately structured local content plan for our renewable energy programme, along the lines of the motor industry development programme. We should be thinking about special economic development zones in the Witbank/Middelburg area for the manufacture of all manner of products used in renewable energy projects.

We have already had engagements with some of the DFIs [development finance institutions] and the appetite for this sort of effort is really something very positive. Organised labour obviously views this with interest and supports this initiative as well, because it addresses many of the concerns they have about an energy transition.

This can give rise to the rejuvenation of an area that has been decimated by a de-industrialisation that has taken place over the past decade or so. From an Eskom point of view, this also drives the consumption of electricity, which of course we favour.

So, it becomes a virtuous circle, rather than a vicious circle. That is the vision that we are working on. We are sitting here on the cusp of either an opportunity or an economic catastrophe for the coal industry. I think we can, to coin a phrase, beat our coal shovels into wind turbines and solar panels.

It is often stated Eskom needs to have an active role in renewable energy, as affirmed in the ANC’s election manifesto. Do you have a plan for Eskom to be active in this space and, with current realities, can Eskom compete in the highly competitive and well-established global developer market?

Chris, as I have explained, yes, we do think we have a role to play in the renewable energy space.

We see ourselves not as competition to private investors and developers. We see ourselves as partners and enablers. We are aware that, unlike private enterprise, we have many other objectives we are required to fulfil as a state-owned enterprise.

We see that potentially we can use the assets of our old coal-fired power stations that are being retired as a contribution of equity in kind in possible public-private partnerships. I think this is a great opportunity for us to leverage off, without requiring more cash from the fiscus and hence the taxpayer, in order to enable a just transition.

So, yes, we have got plans and these plans have to be pragmatic, implementable and affordable, and it is going to be quite a challenge to implement all of this over the next decade or so. — EE Business Intelligence. DM

Watch out for the fourth and final article in this interview series this week. Chris Yelland is managing director of EE Business Intelligence.”


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

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