Author Archives: admin

Diamond Mining

Here’s another look at mining in South Africa – this time, diamond mining

Diamond Mining

Source – https://www.mineralscouncil.org.za/sa-mining/diamonds

DIAMONDS

Gem diamonds are, arguably, the ultimate luxury available to millions of people around the globe. They are available in quantities that most other gems fail to come anywhere near but the operating costs, the labour and the skills that go into producing even the smallest polished gem mean that prices at the jeweller’s counter reflect an individual gem’s luxury status.

Diamonds, it is well known, are an intricate lattice of carbon atoms, a crystal structure that imparts a hardness unmatched elsewhere in nature. And it is this hardness that makes the finest diamonds crucial in the manufacture of high-tech cutting, grinding and polishing tools. Without diamond grit (bort or boart as it is known) much of the world’s modern manufacturing would be made far more difficult than it is.

While diamond mining has been taking in place in South Africa for almost a century and a half, the country’s diamond sector is far from reaching the end of its life. Developments at the country’s three largest mines are designed to expand their outputs and to extend their lives to anywhere between a quarter and a half a century.

KEY FACTS AND FIGURES

The first diamond, the appropriately named Eureka, was discovered in South Africa near Hopetown in 1867 — it weighed 21.25 carats
The largest diamond discovered was the Cullinan found at the Premier Mine in 1905 — it weighted 3,106 carats uncut
At the start diamond discoveries were in alluvial deposits — in 1869 the first diamonds were found in yellow ground (and then in blue ground) near and in what was to become Kimberley, the world’s diamond capital (the diamond matrix was subsequently named kimberlite)
Diamonds were later discovered in significant quantities in kimberlites in what was then known as the Transvaal – the Cullinan mine in 1902 and Venetia (opened in 1992) and the Finsch mine in the Northern Cape opened in 1978
In 2019 South Africa produced 7.2 million carats of diamonds (9.9 million carats in 2018)
The total diamond sales in 2019 was R13.3 billion (R17.3 billion in 2018)
The diamond mining industry employed 15,728 people in 2019 (16,361 in 2018)
De Beers, the name which is synonymous with diamonds, was founded by Cecil Rhodes in 1888 and for many years dominated the world’s diamond market

LOCATION AND GEOLOGY

Natural diamonds were formed some 3.3 billion years ago in conditions of intense heat and pressure 150km below the earth’s surface.

The primary sources of all of South Africa’s diamonds are kimberlites in ancient, vertically dipping volcanic pipes, mostly located in the vicinity of the city of Kimberley and initially amenable to opencast. They were largely discovered in the latter part of the 19th century. Early in the 20th century, the Premier mine’s volcanic pipe was discovered near Pretoria and, in the final decades of the century, the Finsch mine’s kimberlite pipe was discovered near the town of Lime Acres in the Northern Cape and, later, the Venetia mine’s kimberlite near the town of Alldays in Limpopo province.

Alluvial diamonds and small diamondiferous fissures have been known and worked for many years along the southern banks of the Orange River as well as along and offshore of South Africa’s west coast.

DIAMOND MINING IN SOUTH AFRICA

The underground mining and recovery of diamonds continues to this day in the vicinity of Kimberley, the site of the early main discoveries in the 19th century. It is, however, on limited scale with a major focus on reprocessing old tailings dumps to recover diamonds left behind by older recovery processes.

To the west of Kimberley, and on the southern banks of the Orange River some 60km upstream from Port Nolloth, Trans Hex mines largely alluvial diamonds at its Baken and Bloeddrif operations.

Further north in Limpopo province, the Venetia mine owned by De Beers is South Africa’s largest diamond producer, recovering some 8Mct a year. Mining is currently by opencast methods but the depth limits of the open pit are being reached and an underground mine is being developed to continue production below the open pit. Underground mining will be by conventional block-caving or sub-level caving methods.

The Finsch mine, part of the Petra Diamonds group, is South Africa’s second largest producer and operates exclusively as an underground mine using conventional sub-level caving methods. Finsch produced 1.8Mct in 2019.

Near Pretoria and also part of the Petra group, plant optimisation at the Cullinan mine is ongoing – its production was 1.7Mct in 2019. Cullinan contains a world-class gross resource of 154.9Mct as at 30 June 2019, which suggests its mine life could be significantly longer than the current mine plan to 2030.”

______________________________

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

Coal Mining South Africa

South Africa is known for it’s strong mining industry.  Let’s take a look at coal mining.

Coal Mining South Africa

Source – https://www.mineralscouncil.org.za/sa-mining/coal

“COAL

KEY FACTS AND FIGURES
The coal industry employed 92,230 people in 2019 (86,647 in 2018), representing about 19% of total employment in the mining sector
258.9 million tonnes produced in 2019 (253Mt in 2018) with total coal sales of R139.3 billion (R146 billion in 2018)
Net investment in the coal industry was R4.5 billion in 2010, decreasing to R2.5 billion in 2018 – an average decline of 15% per year. This is despite the fact that coal is a major source of electricity in the country.
The coal industry spent R61 billion procuring goods and services, most of it locally, thus contributing to the creation and maintaining of jobs in other industries
70% of coal volume is consumed domestically and more than 70% of electricity demand is generated from coal power
Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) serves as the primary export port
RBCT has a dedicated rail line

LOCATION AND GEOLOGY

South Africa’s coal resources are contained in the Ecca deposits, a stratum of the Karoo Supergroup, and date from the Permian period between 280 and 250 Ma. In general terms, they are largely located in the north-eastern quarter of the country. The coal measures are generally shallow, largely unfaulted and lightly inclined, making their exploitation suitable for opencast and mechanised mining.

At current rates of production, South Africa has reserves sufficient to satisfy its needs for more than a century. However the locus of production is gradually shifting away from the traditional Witbank or Emalahleni coal field as collieries approach the end of their productive lives. Emphasis is being placed on exploring and developing the Waterberg coal field as well as others in Limpopo province.

In general, South African coal has a comparatively medium ash content, which can be reduced by washing before sale. Higher grades of final product are delivered to export markets with the lower grade product burned by Eskom’s specially designed power station boiler hearths.

COAL MINING IN SOUTH AFRICA

Coal mining’s advent in South Africa can best be traced to the start of gold mining in the late 19th century, particularly on the Witwatersrand, with the first coal in appreciable tonnages being extracted on the Highveld coal field close to the nascent Witwatersrand gold mines. However, demand began to grow, slowly at first but then exponentially as the country entered a period of industrialisation during and following World War 2. This included a major programme of building power stations, particularly on the coal fields of Witbank and Delmas, as well as Sasol’s major coal-based synfuels and organic chemicals complex at Secunda. Essentially, South Africa was building an industrial future and technical skills base founded firmly on its principal fossil-fuel resource. Searches for other fossil fuels to date have not been successful, and the country’s fossil future remains firmly founded on coal.

For many years, the coal sector remained in local private hands – largely those of the old mining houses. But, particularly during the oil crises of the 1970s, foreign oil companies vied for coal resources and established new collieries destined especially to serve export markets. Following the democratic election of 1994, ownership was transferred increasingly into the hands of historically disadvantaged South Africans, in many cases exceeding the 26% black-ownership level specified by the Mining Charter for 2014.

The Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) was established in 1976 as a partnership between the then leading coal companies with an initial annual capacity of 12Mt. This has steadily increased with a fine balancing of the needs of rail capacity to carry coal from the inland collieries to the coast to its current 91Mt design capacity. For many years, as this export capacity was being expanded, seaborne coal prices were generally greater than domestic prices. Consequently there was considerable competition for capacity at the RBCT and the rail line that serves it. However, the commodities slump of the past few years and the glut of bulk commodities on international markets has resulted in export prices falling by more than half since 2013 as exporters from competing countries struggled to maintain their market shares.

As we approach the century’s second decade, the power stations built over 30 years ago will remain operational at least until mid-century. Eskom is busy building two modern thermal power stations, Medupi and Kusile, which are the country’s northernmost, and based on coal reserves in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. No other thermal stations are in the planning stages as government and state-owned Eskom consider the feasibility of taking the nuclear power route.

The coal sector employs 92,230 people, which is the third largest group in the mining sector after gold and platinum group metals. Their annual earnings are R27.9 billion.”

___________________________________________________

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

Mining South Africa

Here is a little summary of the mining activities in South Africa

____________________________________

Source: https://www.mineralscouncil.org.za/sa-mining

“MINING IN SA
Economic activity in modern-day South Africa has been centred on mining activities, their ancillary services and supplies. The country’s stock exchange in Johannesburg was established in 1887, a decade after the first diamonds were discovered on the banks of the Orange River, and almost simultaneously with the gold rush on the world-famous Witwatersrand.

In many ways, South Africa’s political, social and economic landscape has been dominated by mining, given that, for so many years, the sector has been the mainstay of the South African economy. Although gold, diamonds, platinum and coal are the most well-known among the minerals and metals mined, South Africa also hosts chrome, vanadium, titanium and a number of other lesser minerals.

KEY MINING FACTS:
In 2018 the mining sector contributed R351 billion to the South African gross domestic product (GDP)
A total of 456,438 people were employed in the mining sector in 2018
Each person employed in the mining sector has up to nine indirect dependants
The mining sector has, for many years, attracted valuable foreign direct investment to South Africa

MAJOR MINING SECTORS IN SA
Mining in South Africa - Coal

COAL
Coal mining’s advent in South Africa can best be traced to the start of gold mining in the late 19th century, particularly on the Witwatersrand, with the first coal in appreciable tonnages extracted on the Highveld coal field close to the nascent Witwatersrand gold mines.

Mining in South Africa - Platinum
PLATINUM
In South Africa the discovery of the first platinum nuggets dates back to 1924. The geologist Hans Merensky’s follow-up work resulted in the discovery of two deposits, each around 100km in length, which became known as the Bushveld Igneous Complex.

Mining in South Africa - Gold
GOLD
The Witwatersrand Basin remains the world’s largest gold resource and has produced more than two billion ounces of gold to date. After 120 years of mining, operations in this area have reached depths of 4,000m, with the natural rock temperatures reach about 50°C.

Mining in South Africa - Diamond
DIAMONDS
While diamond mining has been taking in place in South Africa for almost a century and a half, the country’s diamond sector is far from reaching the end of its life. Developments at the country’s three largest mines are designed to expand their outputs and to extend their lives to anywhere between a quarter and a half a century.”

 

___________________________________

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

Tiny But Toxic

Enjoy the read and have a great day!

Image taken from article source - Coal Ash

Source: https://www.technology.org/2021/08/10/new-tests-can-detect-tiny-but-toxic-particles-of-coal-ash-in-soil/

“New tests can detect tiny but toxic particles of coal ash in soil

Posted August 10, 2021

Scientists at Duke University have developed a suite of four new tests that can be used to detect coal ash contamination in soil with unprecedented sensitivity. The tests are designed to analyze soil for the presence of fly ash particles so small that other tests might miss them. The U.S. National Science Foundation-funded results are published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Fly ash is part of coal combustion residuals that are generated when a power plant burns pulverized coal. The tiny fly ash particles, which are often microscopic in size, contain high concentrations of arsenic, selenium and other toxic elements, many of which have been enriched through the combustion process.

While the majority of fly ash is captured by traps in the power plant and disposed of in coal ash impoundments and landfills, some particles escape and are emitted into the environment. Over time, these particles can accumulate in soil downwind from the plant, potentially posing risks to the environment and human health.

“Because of the size of these particles, it’s been challenging to detect them and measure how much fly ash has accumulated,” said Avner Vengosh. “Our new methods give us the ability to do that — with high level of certainty.”

Coal combustion residuals are the largest industrial solid wastes produced in the United States. When soil contaminated with fly ash is disturbed or dug up, dust containing the ash can be transported through the air into nearby homes and other indoor environments. Inhaling dust that contains fly ash particles with high levels of toxic metals has been linked with lung and heart disease, cancer, nervous system disorders and other ill effects.

“Being able to trace the contamination back to its source location is essential for protecting public health and identifying where remediation efforts should be focused,” said Zhen Wang, who led the study. “These new methods complement tests we’ve already developed for tracing coal ash in the environment, and expand our range of investigation.”

The new tests are designed to be used together to provide independent corroborations of whether fly ash particles are present in a soil sample and if so, at what proportion to the total soil.

Julie Pett-Ridge, a program director in NSF’s Division of Earth Sciences, added that “the combination of these specific geochemical tools is a powerful approach, establishing a reliable means of detecting the potential environmental risks of coal ash in surface soils.””

____________________________________

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

Ten places you forget to vacuum

Dust, dust, dust!  Don’t forget to clean these places in your home!

Ten places that you often forget while vacuuming

Source – https://www.tips-and-tricks.co/cleaning/ten-places-that-you-can-easily-forget-while-vacuuming/

“Do you skip these places while vacuuming?

Are you the type who quickly gets the vacuum cleaning done? Or do you make sure to vacuum every corner? With this checklist you can be sure that your entire house remains dust-free. There are a few places in the house that would like to see the vacuum cleaner more often…

Bottom of the shoe cabinet

You often bring in a lot of dirt on you shoes, which then settles at the bottom of your shoe cabinet. You’ll be storing your footwear in a clean place if you vacuum the shoe cabinet more often.

Your mattress

Mattresses are often forgotten when it comes to cleaning, even though we spend many hours on them. A vacuum cleaner ensures that fewer dust mites will accumulate on your mattress. Don’t forget to turn it over regularly and vacuum both sides when you do that.

Brooms and dusters

Do you clean up crumbs or spills a lot? Often the broom and dustpan are within reach to clean everything. But don’t forget that the dusters and brooms themselves also need to be cleaned from time to time. By placing the vacuum cleaner on the bristles of brooms, you avoid spreading more dust while sweeping.

Air and ventilation grilles

Ventilation grilles are very important for the supply of clean air in your home. They are especially indispensable in the bathroom. Due to the air displacement, these grilles attract a lot of dust. So, while you are vacuuming, vacuum the ventilation grilles from time to time to keep the air exchange really clean.

TV or PC sound boxes

Do you have a beautiful sound system next to your television or computer? The speakers of these systems can also use a freshening up every now and then. This is good for your electronic systems, and they will also last longer. Make sure that the setting on the vacuum cleaner is not too high to prevent damage.

Laptop or computer keyboards

The chances are your computer keyboard is anything but hygienic, especially if you regularly eat in front of your screen. Dust and crumbs can collect in the deep grooves. These areas are easy to clean with a vacuum cleaner. Most people seldom do this, so it’s probably time to clean your keyboard.

Cracks inside the fridge

Cracks in the fridge, the crisps drawer and the back of the refrigerator shelves can collect a lot of dust and other debris. Vacuuming the refrigerator every now and then ensures that you keep your food in a clean environment. In addition, a clean refrigerator uses less energy. Always a bonus!

Window sills and frames

Window sills are often a favorite place for pets. Many people also have plants or decorations in front of their windows. All of this contributes to the fact that window sills quickly become dusty and collect hair and other particles. Use the small brush of your vacuum cleaner to clean the window sills.

Kitchen and wardrobe drawers

Drawers are real dust catchers. To keep your items clean – from cutlery to socks – you also need to vacuum the bottoms of your drawers. This is also a good opportunity to sort the contents again.

Curtains

Use your vacuum cleaner to prevent the dust from your curtains spreading all over the rest of the house. This is a suitable method to clean almost all types of window coverings, from roller blinds to blinds. Choose the right head for the vacuum cleaner to get into every nook and cranny.

 

______________________________

 

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

Zero Harm at Carletonville

Well done Rosond!

Rosond celebrates one year Zero Harm at Carletonville operations

Source – https://www.miningsafety.co.za/news/rosond-celebrates-one-year-zero-harm-at-carletonville-operations/

Rosond celebrates one year Zero Harm at Carletonville operations
May 27, 2021 in Safety

“Drilling technology and services provider Rosond of Midrand recently celebrated a year of Zero Harm operations in Carletonville in Gauteng. This area-specific safety record, achieved on 28 February, is the latest in a series of occupational health and safety (OHS) accolades for the company, which recorded Zero Harm across the entirety of the business on 1 October 2019.

Rosond is currently undertaking core and exploration drilling, its two main areas of expertise for the mining industry, at six different mines and 11 associated shafts. A total of 300 employees are involved, with all safety-related activities overseen by Senior Safety Officer Eugene Barnard. “I wish to congratulate all Rosond employees working in the Carletonville area on one year of Zero Harm. This is an enormous achievement that the entire company can be extremely proud of.”

The OHS culture at Rosond is underpinned by the simple mantra of “We cannot drill if we cannot do so safely”, explains Barnard. From MD Ricardo Ribeiro right down to the drill assistants, safety is lived and breathed at the company. “The fact that this is underpinned right from top management all the way to ground level is critical.”

Adding another layer of complexity to Rosond’s OHS compliance in the Carletonville area is that it works for different mining houses at a range of mines, all with their own specific requirements and procedures and policies. These are often subject to amendment, which means that Barnard and his team have to be constantly alert to any changes that might impact on OHS.

From the outset of the lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Rosond committed itself to complying with all of the necessary government rules and regulations that were proscribed. “We also had to be cognisant that many mining houses themselves implemented additional measures, as mining is a high-risk activity with specific requirements in terms of ensuring worker safety during this difficult period,” adds Barnard.

In terms of OHS compliance in Carletonville specifically, Rosond had to carefully monitor the types of activities that needed to be undertaken in order to allocate the correct numbers of workers in accordance with social distancing protocols. The Covid-19 requirements for the mining industry also have a legal stipulation for specific OHS documentation to be completed daily, for example.

As part of its own OHS initiative, Rosond has quarterly safety drives based on a specific topic identified in the period under review. This information is then distilled into the form of safety posters and other awareness-raising to underscore essential OHS lessons and learnings.

Every site where Rosond is operational is also subject to a quarterly internal OHS audit to ensure compliance with the Mine Health and Safety Act and any other additional statutory requirements. Weekly safety meetings are conducted by site managers, supervisors and safety officers, in addition to an ongoing daily work risk assessment and hazard identification process to red-flag any OHS related issues to prevent incidents that may arise.

Barnard attributes Rosond’s significant OHS achievements to date to the fact that the safety system implemented by the company is both readily understandable to all employees, and flexible enough to take into account any contingencies. The company is also committed to constant innovation, which means that all drilling and related equipment is constantly upgraded to improve the level of risk management.”

_____________________________________

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

 

National Day of Health and Safety in Mining

Read the media release from the Minerals Council South Africa as they launched the National Day of Health and Safety in Mining this year.

_____________________________

Source – http://www.safetyandhealthinmining.co.za/

Media Release

“The Minerals Council South Africa today launched the National Day of Health and Safety in Mining 2021. This is the fourth annual commemoration demonstrating the mining industry’s commitment to achieving zero harm.

This year’s event was centred on a theme of Renewed Focus for our New Normal, which recognised the integration of health, safety and wellbeing, acknowledging the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry’s performance in 2020, and the consequent behaviour changes needed.”

“NATIONAL DAY OF HEALTH & SAFETY 2021:
RENEWED FOCUS FOR OUR NEW NORMAL
Johannesburg, 8 July 2021.

The Minerals Council South Africa today commemorated the
National Day of Health and Safety in Mining 2021, an event that underpins and supports the
Khumbul’ekhaya Health & Safety Strategy.

This year’s event is centred on a theme of Renewed Focus for our New Normal, which
recognises the integration of health, safety and wellbeing, acknowledging the regression in
fatalities in 2020 compared with 2019, the impacts of COVID-19 and the consequent
behaviour changes needed.

Roger Baxter, CEO of the Minerals Council noted: “The history of this day is rooted in our
Khumbul’ekhaya campaign initiated to remind us all, and particularly the leadership of our
industry, of the need to maintain an intense focus on the safety and health of our industry’s
employees. Any measure of the effectiveness and progress of our industry must look first at
progress towards ensuring that every employee returns home as healthily and safely as they
left home to head for their workplace.

“The last 18 months have confronted us with an additional and most profound health
challenge. I would like to thank everyone present for the remarkable role you have all played
in optimising lives and livelihoods – government, organised labour and industry. Together,
we have as an industry done a remarkable job of working together to protect our employees
from the ravages of COVID-19 as far as this has been possible – working hard to save lives
and livelihoods. And we will continue with this. But, the way forward for us, as an industry
and a country, is to achieve community immunity through vaccination.”

In her address, Nolitha Fakude, President of the Minerals Council noted: “COVID has been a
part of our lives for close on 18 months now, with its impacts on health, safety and wellbeing. And it is not going to leave us for some time to come. We saw in 2020 a deterioration
in mining’s safety performance in terms of fatalities. Worse still, thus far in 2021, we are
seeing a further deterioration in the fatality trend. This is not acceptable to us, as the
Minerals Council and the industry. For all these reasons, our CEO Zero Harm Forum has
decided that the theme for today, and for the year ahead, should be: Renewed Focus for our
New Normal.”

Chief Inspector of Mines David Msiza commended the Minerals Council’s initiative to hold
the event in that it gives all stakeholders “the opportunity to reflect on health and safety
issues. It was important that we worked together in dealing with COVID. We have made a
huge difference. I commend all of us – government, industry and organised labour for our
efforts,” he said.

He said that mine health and safety continues to be a government priority. “We are intent on
working to implement a culture of zero harm. We still believe zero harm is possible,” he
added.

Assessing the past year, Mr Msiza said he was pleased at the reduction in occupational
diseases. But the incidence of noise-induced hearing loss and occupational lung disease is
still a concern. There has been a 26% reduction in injuries. However, 60 fatalities, an
increase on the 51 in 2019, was very disappointing, he said.

AMCU Health and Safety chair Gabriel Nkosi reaffirmed AMCU’s commitment to the Mine
Health and Safety Council safety milestones. He said it was time to reinforce training of
safety representatives. He said he was delighted with the performance of the Masoyise
health programme’s efforts to reduce the incidence of TB and other diseases.

However, he added: “COVID-19 has interfered with efforts to address incidence of fatalities.
It worries us that the 60 lives lost in 2020 are higher than the 51 lives lost in 2019.
Operational discipline is a big concern.” On COVID, he added: “Let us adhere to nonpharmaceutical interventions until all mineworkers are vaccinated.”

NUM National Health and Safety head Mziwakhe Nhlapo spoke of the importance of culture
transformation in respect of health and safety, including the issues of risk management,
diversity management and building capacity for training. “Culture transformation needs to be
our bible. Traction needs to be re-established having been somewhat lost recently,” he said.
Mr Nhlapo applauded the Minerals Council for setting up the event. He urged all parties to
continue to engage in order to find solutions. Solidarity Deputy General Secretary, Paul Mardon commented: “Underpinning this recommitment to health and safety is our honest belief that health and safety at work is the foundation of the sustainability of mining in South Africa. In the long run, only safe production is sustainable.

“Solidary regards this event as evidence of the Minerals Council’s leadership and we
commend them for it. But we also want to recognise the leadership shown by trade unions in
mining and the DMRE with regard to health and safety.”
UASA Divisional Manager Franz Stehring said he hoped the day would lead to “a major
paradigm shift from reactive health and safety strategies and attitudes towards a
behavioural-based proactive culture among management and employees in the mining
industry.
“It is important to remember that health and safety can only be attained through teamwork,
healthy employer and employee relations in the workplace, total commitment and, most
importantly, by changing the behaviour of people to benefit themselves,” he added

Speaking in conclusion, Themba Mkhwanazi, Chair of CEO Zero Harm Forum said:
“We remain committed to our Khumbul’ekhaya strategy and the key leadership actions we
are undertaking as part of our drive to eliminate fatalities, change behaviour and transform
our safety culture, through ongoing collaboration with our tripartite stakeholders in
government and unions, in our quest for Zero Harm.””

___________________________________

 

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

National Day of Health and Safety in Mining

What Is Particulate Matter And How Does It Affect Your Health?

A very interesting article from ThermoFisher.  Enjoy the read!

What Is Particulate Matter And How Does It Affect Your Health?

What Is Particulate Matter? And How Does It Affect Your Health?
By Sandra J. Nason

Source – https://www.thermofisher.com/blog/mining/what-is-particulate-matter-and-how-does-it-affect-your-health/?kui=vTfMLEZ6Mxfnki03Vqv4zA#_ts=1500409586040

“Advancing Mining often discusses air quality issues related to industries including coal mining, cement processing, and coal‐ and oil‐fired power generation. These issues can affect both workers and the nearby population who breathe in the particulate matter that results from such industrial activities.

What is a particulate, or particulate matter? How can it affect us?

The U.S. EPA defines particulate matter (PM, also called particle pollution) as a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Particulate matter size is measured as PM10, inhalable particles 10 micrometers or less in diameter, and PM2.5, fine inhalable particles 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter.

Here are some facts about particulate matter from the EPA web site:

Some particulates can be seen with the naked eye while others can only be detected using an electron microscope. Some microscopic solids or liquid droplets are so small that they can be inhaled deep into the lungs, and possibly even the bloodstream, causing serious health problems.
Particulate matter can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals.
Particulate matter can be emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks, or fires.

Most particulate matter forms in the atmosphere as a result of complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles.

Fine particles (PM2.5) are the main cause of reduced visibility (haze) in parts of the United States, including many of our treasured national parks and wilderness areas.
What preventive and protective measures have been put in place regarding particulate matter?

The EPA has issued particulate matter emissions monitoring requirements for future coal‐ and oil‐fired power plants under the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). The MATS sets standards for all Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) emitted by coal- and oil-fired Utility Steam Generating Unit (EGU) with a capacity of 25 megawatts or greater. These standards are known as the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) or the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards. MATS covers emission limits for mercury, particulate matter, SO2, acid gases, and certain metals. The new standards affect only coal‐ and oil‐fired power plants that will be built in the future and are expected to reduce mercury emissions from power plants by 90%, acid gas emissions by 88%, and SO2 emissions by 41% beyond the reductions expected from the Cross State Air Pollution Rule.

Particulate Matter Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (PM CEMS) for wet stack particulate matter emissions enables simplified compliance with U.S. EPA regulations for utility companies, cement manufacturers and organizations with industrial and commercial boilers. PE CEMS systems continuously monitor filterable particulate matter regardless of changes in particulate characteristics and provide true mass concentration traceable to NIST-standards.

Advanced technology is also available to monitor particulates in ambient air.”

_________________________________

 

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

What are toxins?

We hear so much about toxins and about de-toxing!  But what are toxins?

_____________________________

What Exactly Are “Toxins,” Anyway?

Source – https://sciencing.com/what-are-toxins-13724903.html

Updated February 28, 2020
By Sylvie Tremblay

“If we had to pick one health buzzword from the past decade, it’d be “toxins.” From celebs selling “detox tea” on Instagram to “clean” cosmetics that claim to be free of harmful compounds, the concept of “cleansing away toxins” is everywhere.

But what does “toxin” actually mean?

On its most basic level, a toxin is any compound that can have a harmful effect on your body. And when you think of toxins, you probably picture poisons – like cyanide – that are dangerous and deadly, even in small doses.

But the truth is, you’re exposed to toxic substances every day. That’s because any compound can become toxic. Even water, in high enough doses, can be toxic. Sounds crazy, right? It’s strange but true, as this woman unfortunately found out when she entered a water-drinking contest and died.

Exposure to toxic substances can pose a serious risk to your health. So that means detox teas and cleanses are great for you, right?

Unfortunately, no. While “detox” products might not hurt you, they aren’t going to rid your body of toxins, either. Here’s why.

Your Body Can Already Deal with Toxins
That’s because your body already has a built-in system for filtering toxins out of your body. Your liver can help detoxify your body from turning harmful compounds into less harmful (or virtually harmless) ones. And your kidneys help detox your body, too. They continually filter your blood, and allow some harmful substances to leave your body via your urine.

Your lungs get in on the action, too. While they aren’t major detox organs, your airways are lined with molecular “oars,” called cilia, which help move any particles or toxins up and out of your body.

What Happens if Your Natural Detox Systems Fail?
Of course, if your body could handle every toxin perfectly, nothing would truly be poisonous. Some toxins can overwhelm your body’s built-in detox systems – if, for instance, your liver can’t process a toxin quickly enough, it can build up in your body. Other toxins dissolve in fatty tissue, so they can stay in your body, dissolved in your fat cells, and cause ongoing problems.

With that said, detox teas and cleanses won’t do a thing to remove toxins from your body. They can’t make your liver or kidneys work any better. They might make you lose a few pounds, but that’s about it – and that’s the best-case scenario.

As Rush University Medical Center explains, some detox products might actually harm you. Some common detox procedures, like enemas, can damage your intestines – ironically, making it harder to remove toxins from your body via your poop. Other detox practices, like juice cleansing, can leave you temporary malnourished, which could mean you’re more likely to get sick.

What’s more, relying on detox products might keep you from seeking medical attention if you have been exposed to a toxin. And delaying medical attention gives a toxin more time to harm your body, potentially putting you in danger.

So Should You Worry About Toxins?
Kinda, but you need to keep your nerves in check. Environmental toxins do exist, which is why it’s important to fight pollution and demand safer ingredients in your food, cosmetics and household products.

But you should pass on products that claim to help flush toxins from your body. They’re a waste of money because they can’t truly detoxify you. And, as you just read, they can cause more problems than they solve.

If you’re worried about the toxins in your environment, talk to your doctor. They can put your nerves in check – and offer proven treatments if you truly are exposed to too many toxins.”

_____________________________

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

The new smoking?

Breathing chemicals into our lungs is never a good idea.  What potential harm can scented cleaning products do to us?

Scented Cleaning Products: The New Smoking?

Scented Cleaning Products: The New Smoking?

Source – https://sciencing.com/scented-cleaning-products-the-new-smoking-13710351.html

Updated March 20, 2018
By Sylvie Tremblay

“It’s no secret that indoor air quality is a health concern; the Environmental Protection Agency notes that indoor air can actually be more polluted than outdoor air, even if you live in a large and industrialized city. Continued exposure to pollution, dust and other allergens can aggravate your lungs and airways, worsening asthma and even increasing your risk for cancer.

Clearly, it’s important to keep your place clean to remove as much dust as you can. But there’s a double-edge sword: many cleaning products are loaded with chemicals that can also harm your health, and manufacturers are not required by the Food and Drug Administration to prove that the ingredients in their products are safe. So when you’re planning your spring cleaning, it’s crucial to choose safe cleaning products to help keep your air clean.

The Health Impacts of Cleaning Products
It’s easy to shrug off the effects of cleaning products; out of sight, out of mind, right? However, they can be significant. Research from the American Thoracic Society found that women who often clean in the home or the workplace face significant lung issues. The 20-year study, which was published in the “American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine” in February 2018, found that frequent cleaners had a decrease in lung function that was comparable to the decline seen in smokers. Additional research has found that cleaning products can worsen asthma, providing further proof that these chemicals aren’t good for your airways.

Chemicals to Watch out For
While you may not know how every cleaning product ingredient affects your health, and many are likely completely harmless, there are a few big hitters to avoid. Steer clear of products containing parabens and phthalates, which are often added to scented products to help the scent linger, such as that laundry detergent that keeps your bedding smelling fresh for a week. These compounds may affect hormone levels and can trigger asthma. Look out for triclosan, often found in antimicrobial cleaners and soaps, because it might mimic the effects of estrogen, explains the University of Illinois Cancer Center.

How to Clean Safer
You’ll be able to avoid some harmful chemicals by opting for natural cleaners that are unscented, or scented with essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance. Your best option, though, is to make your own cleaning supplies. Everyday substances like vinegar, baking soda, salt, lemon juice, rubbing alcohol and borax are all you need to make all-purpose cleaner and glass cleaner, or even cleansing scrubs and drain cleaners. If your allergies are bad, consider investing in a HEPA air filter that will help remove dust, pollen and other allergens from the air 24/7.”

 

_______________________________

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