Category Archives: News

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!

_________________________________________

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.”

____________________________________

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.”

_______________________________________

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.”

__________________________________________

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.”

____________________________________________

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.”

________________________________________

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.

 

Mine collapse in Zimbabwe

Recent sad news about a mine collapse in Zimbabwe……

___________________________________

Mine collapse in Zimbabwe kills one, injures threeMining.com 
By – Valentina Ruiz Leotaud

“Local media are reporting that one person died and three were injured after a wall collapsed at the community-operated Gaika Mine in Kwekwe, central Zimbabwe.

The miners were digging for gold and allegedly were using explosives, which weakened the shaft where they were working.

Three of them ended up trapped for a few hours but were rescued by colleagues working nearby while the fatal victim, identified as Stenford Machangai, was crushed by a giant rock that had to be removed with a hydraulic jack together with his body.

According to Africa.com, the Zimbabwe National Army has been dealing for months with people working illegally at the mine site.

The operation is said to have been reopened by the ruling party, Zanu-PF, after 20 years of closure under a community ownership scheme. However, The Sunday News reports that such activities are rejected by its original owner, Duration Gold, a subsidiary of UK-based Clarity Enterprises.”

______________________________________________

Nehanda Radio – 20 August 2018

By – Michael Magoronga

Mine shaft collapse kills one, injures three

“A MINER at Gaika Mine in Kwekwe died after a shaft collapsed on him on Friday morning, police have confirmed.

Officer Commanding Kwekwe Police District Superintendent Kingston Mushawembiri said police had to seek help from the fire brigade to retrieve the body of Stanford Machangai of Torwood in Redcliff.

“We received the report on Friday morning and we summoned Kwekwe Fire Brigade who assisted in retrieving the body which was trapped for some time,” said Supt Mushawembiri.

He said there was a boulder which made it difficult to retrieve the body.

“We had to use a hydraulic jack to lift the rock and remove the body. It was very huge which took hours to lift,” he said.

Miners who were mining in another other shaft also helped to rescue three other colleagues who were trapped in the same shaft. Privilege Sayi, Sikhulekile Mlalazi and Kirian Chimutengo were reportedly trapped for some hours before they were rescued and taken to Kwekwe District Hospital where they are recovering.

“The other three did not sustain life threatening injuries and are recovering well at hospital. One of them broke his legs as the huge rock also fell on him, but I understand he is recovering well at hospital,” said Supt Mushawembiri.

The mine was re-opened last year after 20 years of closure, under a community ownership scheme. Owners of the mine, Duration Gold, have approached the courts arguing that the mining activities being carried out were illegal. Sunday News.”

__________________________________

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

The Best Vacuum Cleaner

The best vacuum cleaner

At DustWach cc we are concerned with health , safety and hygiene both in the home and at your work place.  Dust, wherever it is, can cause health issues.  Here is an interesting review on The Best Vacuum Cleaner – a link to the original review is provided.

________________________________________

Reviews.com

The Best Vacuum Cleaner

“Finding the best vacuum cleaners came down to just two things: which ones sucked up the most, and which ones were easiest to haul around. If they can’t hack that, why even bother? We got our hands on 19 flagship vacuums ranging from $80 to $600, dumped a bunch of junk on the floor, and compared the results.

Vacuuming. It’s on all of our to-do lists — a lot. In fact, you’ll spend an average of 30 minutes to an hour each week vacuuming for the rest of your life, according to Craig Amick, director of commercial development at Electrolux Small Appliances. That’s more than a full day every year just spent on dust, dirt, and debris.

The wrong vacuum (heavy, loud, flat-out doesn’t work) turns a simple task into a serious chore, but after testing 19 models, we’re happy to say that it doesn’t have to be so bad. We looked at the top upright vacuums from the leading brands to find which ones had powerful suction (100 percent pickup within two passes) and effortless maneuverability (so agile you could take it salsa dancing). Our pick for the best vacuum, the Hoover Air Cordless Lift, is easy to grab and go — it’s lightweight and zippy, with no cord to slow you down — and has seriously impressive cleaning power.

One thing that was shocking in our search (but not shocking to anyone who’s ever shopped for a vacuum): The price range on these guys is ridiculous. You can find a vacuum for $50 or for $1,000, even though basic performance and quality don’t vary much between mid-range and top-tier models. With those guys, you’re paying more for a lot of bells and whistles — from floor tools that light up to automatic suction control. With budget models, it’s a total mixed bag. Some truly suck (in the bad way) and others work better than their four-figure counterparts. Case in point: While you sacrifice some oomph and get lower-quality plastic construction, the Bissell CleanView 9595A ($80) outperformed much more expensive models like the SEBO 9807AM Felix 1 ($600) in both cleaning power and ease of use in our hands-on testing.

How We Found the Best Vacuums
Do a quick Amazon search, and suddenly you have over 13,000 vacuums to choose from. With no clear hierarchy of models or brands (coupled with the bewildering task of deciphering what’s a marketing gimmick and what’s a legitimate feature), shopping for a vacuum ends up as much a chore as vacuuming itself.

We knew finding the best was going to be a down-and-dirty mission. We wanted to get our hands on lots of vacuums and see how they stacked up doing their most fundamental task: sucking up gunk. Before we did that, though, we had to whittle down the list of thousands of machines to 19 of the highest-rated models from the best-known brands in the industry.

We only looked at uprights.
Vacuums come in all shapes and sizes — canister, stick, robotic, hand-held, upright — and comparing all of them would be like comparing an SUV with a coupe with a scooter to find the best car. To narrow the field, we looked at the most popular: uprights.

Compared to other models that are designed for specific purposes, upright vacuums are great at quickly removing dust and dirt from large areas of carpet, while also working well on hardwoods and area rugs. They are the most things to most people.

We looked at vacuums in two price categories: cheap and mid-range.
Our two benchmarks were under $250 and $250-$600. Any model over $600 we nixed. Why? Determining what bells and whistles were a priority really comes down to a matter of preference. Like shopping for a car, we wouldn’t presume that heated leather seats and satellite radio are must-have features for you.

And we picked the flagship models of top vacuum brands per price point.
Within each of the price points, we then dug deeper to see which models stood out. Some vacuums, like the Oreck XL Classic, have an avid fan base. (Really! Check out its reviews and you’ll find tons of loyal customers touting this lightweight model as the only vacuum they’ll ever own.) If a model was hands-down the most talked about, it made our list; if a brand didn’t have such a following, we defaulted to its highest-priced model within our two pricing categories — we wanted to put each brand’s top vacuums to the test.

Then we started vacuuming.
On medium-pile carpet, then on hardwood, we measured how many passes each vacuum took to thoroughly suck up the mess we made. To test each model’s ability with large particles, we evenly spread sand (a few cups) and Cheerios (generous handfuls), and then, sprinkled cinnamon and talcum powder to test fine-grain mayhem. The best vacuums sucked everything up in two passes — one forward, one back. The worst could never quite get the floor clean.

Riccar, which regularly garners ecstatic comments, had the least cleaning power of all 19 vacuums we tested. It took so many tries to pick up any sand and Cheerios, we took it apart to make sure we’d assembled it correctly. (We had.)

It may have a loyal following, but the Riccar’s performance didn’t impress us during testing. Note the large trail of debris left behind after the Riccar’s initial pass on hardwood.

The Kenmore Elite, by comparison, had great cleaning power, which at first we thought was the result of its “dirt sensor” — it sounded fancy, but turns out it’s just another way to raise or lower the brush depending on carpet height. Gimmicky marketing, but overall a great vacuum.

We also put each model through an obstacle course: multiple tables and chairs that mimicked the layout of a small room. We took each vacuum for a spin, requiring them to make at least two sharp, 90-degree turns in both directions, and to squeeze through the narrow slots between furniture. If it cornered like it was on rails and wasn’t too heavy to turn on a dime before bumping into something, we were impressed.

One of the key features for increased maneuverability is some form of swiveling joint between the body and the cleaning head; some vacuums do this better than others. Looks were deceiving with the Miele Dynamic U1 Twist: It seemed much bulkier than some of the more slender swivelers, but its patented SwivelNeck was something to behold — it handled each corner like a dream. The Shark Professional Rotator, on the other hand, looked sleek, but lacked control. (It also came with dangling accessories — so many that there is a special rolling caddy! — that dropped tools all over.)

Compared to the Miele Dynamic U1 Twist (top), the Shark Professional Rotator (bottom) felt wobbly and out of control.

Our Picks for Best Vacuum Cleaner
Our unanimous top pick was Hoover’s Air Cordless Lift for its excellent cleaning power and maneuverability. We were stunned that our only cordless model went straight to the top of the list. Most agree that cordless models aren’t quite there yet in terms of power (Sir James Dyson bought a battery company in 2015, but even he said not to expect battery-operated Dysons “for a few years”), yet this little Hoover defies the trend. It’s everything you want in an upright, and there’s no cord to trip you up.

It offers only two settings: carpet or no carpet, plus a “boost” button for more cleaning power, though both settings worked well without boosting. On carpeted floor, the Air Cordless Lift picked up both large and small particles, and never needed more than two passes. On hardwoods, it took another pass or two, but still sucked up every Cheerio and plowed through every pile of sand we put in its path. Then we turned on the boost and bingo: hardwood performance was just as good as carpet.

The Hoover Air Cordless Lift made quick work of our messes on both carpet and hardwood, and its maneuverability made navigating around furniture a breeze.

It maneuvered around our test furniture without a single collision in a way that can only be described as “zippy.” Granted, this pep did cause some weird handling in large expanses of carpet — it kept trying to maneuver even when we wanted it to keep pointing straight ahead. If you need it to run circles around Grandma’s curio cabinet or your 12-piece dining set, this vacuum’s maneuverability has you covered. Wide-open rooms might be frustrating — if that sounds like your home, we recommend the Oreck XL Classic, our best carpet pick, or the Samsung VU7000 Motion Sync, our pick for hardwood……….”

(For more please follow the link to the original article)

Best Vacuum Cleaners: Summed Up
Vacuum Cleaners                                                          Best For…
Hoover Air Cordless Lift                                                  Cleaning Power
Oreck XL Classic                                                            Carpet
Samsung VU7000 Motion Sync                                        Bare Floors
Bissell CleanView 9595A                                                 Budget
Miele Dynamic U1 Twist                                                 Luxury
Dyson Ball Animal                                                          Maneuverability
Kenmore Elite                                                                Kenmore Brand
Electrolux Precision Brushroll Clean                                  Accessories

Did You Know?
Cleaning power is more complicated than your vacuum manufacturer tells you.
Historically, manufacturers and their marketers say a vacuum’s cleaning power is the amperage of its motor. Not so, according to Energy Star. It found a minimal correlation between power and cleaning performance — cleaning head design, brush mechanisms, and other design elements are more important; filtration and dust removal are independent of power, too. While a vacuum might tout 12 amps of cleaning power, that doesn’t really tell you much.

It really comes down to suction and airflow (measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFMs). In vacuums, strong suction is created by air passing quickly and unrestricted through an intake port. Now, for a bit of physics: Since the speed of the fan is constant, so is the amount of air passing through the vacuum. No matter the size of the intake port, the same number of air particles need to pass through — the smaller the port, the more quickly air particles will move. This increase in airspeed decreases pressure, which results in greater suction. (This is why narrow vacuum attachments can pick up heavier dirt particles than wider ones.)

The tricky thing with airflow ratings is that most upright makers don’t actually list them — they only list amps — so you have to look at how the vacuums are made. There are two basic designs of upright vacuums: direct air and bypass.

We didn’t weigh in on the bagged vs. bagless debate.
Both designs have been proven to clean well, so one isn’t necessarily better than the other. It’s a matter of preference. Bagless vacuums offer less waste (and save you money since you aren’t buying replacements), but some say you have to empty them more than bagged vacuums. Folks with severe allergies will want to go for a bagged model though: The bags seal, trapping dust and allergens.

But if you have asthma or allergies, you’ll want to take more precaution.
The best thing to do if you have asthma or allergies is to live without carpet — carpets are notorious for capturing dust, pollen, and other irritating particles. If that’s not a possibility, regular vacuuming becomes even more important.

Second, while everything we found pointed to bagged vacuums as being the better option for allergies, Dr. Rivera-Mariani warns that standard bags easily get tiny tears that allow leakage. If you have a model with bags, replacements with electrostatic properties (these are available for most major vacuums) help keep pesky particles contained. (The electrostatic causes the dust particles to stick together, so they’re less likely to escape.)

And last, Dr. Rivera-Mariani strongly recommends a sealed HEPA filter. There are less stringent forms of filtration, like the basic sort all vacuums have (including our Hoover top pick), which absorb dust, but don’t capture pollen or pet dander. These are generally fine for most people, but if you’re sensitive to irritants, HEPA is the way to go. Dr. Rivera-Mariana goes as far to recommend HEPA filtration even if you have no respiratory issues. Allergies can build up over time, and symptoms may show up suddenly in previously non-allergic individuals.”

_______________________________________________________

We hope you enjoyed reading this review – please remember that only excerpts have been used. Please feel free to follow the link above and read the full review.

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

 

The Importance of Dust Control

Here are a couple or articles on the importance of dust control. Enjoy the read and have a great day!

_________________________

7 Ways Dust Control Improves Composite Manufacturing Operations

Nilfisk

“For composite manufacturers, dust is a constant. Whether you make aircraft wings, car fenders, or tennis rackets, chances are if you look around your facility, you’ll see plenty of dust.

Because it’s everywhere, dust can affect many different aspects of your operations, especially if it’s not properly controlled. In that way, controlling your dust is like properly hydrating your body. If you’re hydrated, all of your body systems can function at their peak. If you’re dehydrated, your other systems won’t work well at all.

Let’s look at seven ways dust control can improve your composite manufacturing operations across the board.

1. Reduced risk of cross-contamination
Composites manufacturing is highly sensitive to contamination. Dust that becomes airborne can travel to and interfere with other processes and products. This can quickly increase the size of your scrap pile. By controlling dust at the source, you can ensure that it doesn’t affect what’s happening in other areas of your plant.

2. Improved product quality
In addition to contaminating processes and products, dust also has an immediate and negative impact on how your equipment functions. Dust control will help you keep your equipment working in top shape, which means your products will continue to reflect the quality your company is known for providing.

3. Lower equipment maintenance costs
Over time, if dust is allowed to accumulate, it can cause wear and tear on your equipment. This not only affects product quality, but also increases the cost of maintaining your equipment.

4. Less downtime due to equipment breakdowns
In the worst case scenario, dust accumulation can cause your equipment to break down entirely. This means not only emergency maintenance, which is much more expensive than scheduled maintenance, but you might have to replace the equipment entirely. And, of course, if your equipment breaks down, your production line has to stop, and every minute of downtime equals a dip in your bottom line.

5. Improved compliance
Pretty much all dust in composites manufacturing facilities is combustible. And composites manufacturers are being targeted by OSHA for dust-related violations. By implementing OSHA’s recommended methods for dust control, you can keep your company on your inspector’s good side.

Composites manufacturers also need to be aware of OSHA’s new final rule on exposure to silica dust. Many composite raw materials and molded products contain silica, which can have long-term adverse effects on health. The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) has published a study to help composites manufacturers comply with OSHA requirements. Learn more from Industrial Equipment News and on the ACMA website.

6. Reduced risk of a dust-related fire or explosion
Of course, the main reason to comply with dust standards isn’t just to avoid OSHA penalties. It’s to ensure your entire operation doesn’t go up in smoke. Keeping your dust level below the recommended threshold is the best way to protect your facility against dust-related fires and explosions.

7. Improved worker health and safety
Fires, explosions, and silica are just a few of the dust-related risks to worker health. Many composite manufacturing processes produce other particles small enough to be respirable. Certain types of dust are also slippery, which can lead to falls. Overall, a clean facility is a safe and healthy facility.”

_______________________________________

Dust Collection: Expense or Investment?

BY – Karen Wood

Composites World 

Well-engineered dust control systems not only improve shop air quality but also boost productivity, prolong machine life and save energy.

Fifteen years ago, dust management in composites manufacturing operations was somewhat unsophisticated. A common solution to the dust generated by cutting, trimming, sanding and grinding was to cut a hole in the shop wall and install an exhaust fan. Although simple and relatively inexpensive, this method did little but improve visibility. Today, governments mandate particulate emission control, both inside and outside the plant. Respirable dust, which is classified as less than or equal to 5 µm in diameter, is small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs, with serious health consequences. But the cost of uncontrolled dust goes beyond worker health. Inhalable dust, which averages 10 µm in diameter, not only can get trapped in the nose, throat, and upper respiratory tract and irritate eyes and skin, but it also can build up on machinery components, causing premature wear. Moreover, dust can impact product quality as well. In this respect, says Ken Abbott, managing member of Envirosystems LLC (Tucson, Ariz.), “the composites industry is unique. It’s very sophisticated in terms of materials and techniques, and with that sophistication comes an increased sensitivity to contamination.” If allowed to float freely through the air, dust from carbon fiber, for example, can corrode surrounding aluminum components, and a small amount of any contaminant on a faying surface can interfere with adhesion in bonded part assemblies. As a result, the industry’s overall perception of dust control has begun to change.

“Long perceived as simply a cost of doing business, companies are now realizing that dust collection equipment — when done right — can be an investment,” says Abbot. “Our customers expect dust collection to help improve product quality, reduce scrap due to contaminated parts, lower housekeeping and equipment maintenance costs, and boost worker productivity.”

MANDATE FOR DUST MANAGEMENT
Managing particulate as minute as one-twelfth the width of a human hair is challenging: The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Admin. (OSHA), for example, requires that worker exposure levels for respirable dust be limited to just 5 mg/m³ averaged over an eight-hour period. Without dust control, “most people using a sander or grinder will quickly exceed the OSHA level,” says D. Scott McConnell, vice president, Dustcontrol Inc. (Wilmington, N.C.). The key is to investment in what dust control system designers call an engineered solution.

Today, dust control systems are rarely off-the-shelf products. Instead, each is customized to meet the requirements of the customer’s application, and there are many variations from which to choose. While a well-designed system can have a positive affect on the bottom line, the opposite also is true: “You can put an inexpensive system together and collect dust with it, but if it is not done correctly, it can be very expensive to operate,” warns Abbott. System design involves consideration of factors that impact the effectiveness of dust containment technology, including the dust collection method and vacuum systems (fan size, motor power rating and filter media) — the selection of which depends on careful calculation of application-specific process variables, such as air volume, capture velocity and static pressure.

ENGINEERING FOR EXTRACTION EFFICIENCY
One of the most important variables in dust control system design is air volume. To determine the air volume required for a particular application, the width of the space to be controlled is multiplied by the height, resulting in a room cross-section value expressed in square feet (ft²). This cross-sectional area is multiplied by the required speed of air movement through the room in feet per minute (fpm) to calculate air volume, as expressed in cubic feet per minute (cfm). Therefore, airflow speed of 50 fpm in a room that measures 40 ft wide by 10 ft high (12m by 3m) would require fan volume of 20,000 cfm.

When selecting a fan, says Abbott, “static pressure will determine whether or not the fan will perform the function for which it was chosen.” Static pressure (SP) — or resistance to airflow — essentially rates how much resistance to airflow can be introduced (by dust buildup, filter media and/or ductwork, for example) without affecting the air volume rating. “Using a fan with the incorrect SP rating will result in a system that, at best, will cost more than it should to operate or, at worst, won’t be able to do the job at all,” says Abbott.

“As an example, a fan with a rating of 10,000 cfm at 0.75-inch SP may only use a 5-hp motor to effectively move air, at that static pressure, through a paint booth or other type of low-resistance system,” says Abbott. If this same fan and paint booth were used to collect dust, however, “the fan will be all but useless before dust is even collected because a new filter provides 0.75-inch SP right out of the box,” he contends, noting that “a 10,000-cfm fan suitable for a typical dust collection system will need to achieve its full rated volume at a resistance closer to 3 inches SP or more to be effective and would require 10 hp or more.”

A large factor that affects system design is the size of ductwork that might be required to transport dust from the source to its collection point. Duct size in cross-section directly affects system performance and is based on what particulate will be collected and the volume of air that must be moved. According to Donaldson Torit (Minneapolis, Minn.), which offers cartridge- and bag-type dust collectors, ductwork that’s too small tends to restrict airflow, resulting in pressure loss. This reduces the air volume and increases energy use. If the ducts are too large compared to the air volume, air velocity is reduced. Dust capture will be poor and dust will not be pulled through the ductwork.

A key to system efficiency, then, is to minimize static pressure. Assuming an average cost of industrial power of approximately $0.08 (USD) per kilowatt hour (KwH), operating one 5-hp fan for a single shift, five days a week, for 52 weeks would cost $805 per year. If, due to ducting or other installation requirements, the fan needs 30 hp to move the same air volume, the cost would be $4,238 per year. “The most cost-effective method of eliminating airborne contamination is to confine it to one area where it can be isolated and filtered using the least amount of air,” says Abbott. Strategies include locating the dust collector as close as possible to the area it is filtering to reduce ductwork and, therefore, the fan’s horsepower requirement. Whenever possible, the filtered air should be exhausted back into the plant to retain conditioned air — heated air in the winter or chilled air in the summer — to minimize building heating and cooling costs.

SELECTING A COLLECTION STRATEGY
Given these design constraints, dust control system manufacturers have developed three basic collection strategies: whole-room, containment booth and source-point capture. Strategy selection is based on the size, type and number of the customer’s dust-generating machines.

Whole-room systems are often the only practical option when an individual piece of equipment is massive, such as a gantry-style CNC router. The whole-room approach typically involves a room built around a machine to reduce noise and dust. The dust collector, which can be located outside the building or inside, pulls air from the work area into an inlet device — typically mounted along the wall at the narrow end of the room. The air is directed through filter media where contaminants are trapped and clean air is exhausted back into the work area or outside the building. These systems can involve extensive ductwork or, in some cases, be free of ductwork.

Envirosystems’ trademarked AirWall dust collection equipment, for example, is self-contained, eliminating the need for ductwork and greatly reducing static pressure. “By saving 2 to 3 inches in static pressure with no ductwork, we can move the same amount of air with a 5-hp fan as a ducted system [can move] with a 40-hp fan,” Abbott claims.

The system reportedly removes more than 99.99 percent of airborne sub-micron particles (down to 0.5 micron in size), which surpasses current OSHA requirements. A high-velocity, reverse pulse-jet cleaning system automatically cleans cartridge filters (see “Filtration Facts” at the end of this article, on p. 3).

Given a room size of 20-ft by 30-ft by 10-ft (6.1m by 9.1m by 3m), a complete air change every minute would require air to be pulled through the room at 30 fpm and could demand a fan volume as high as 6,000 cfm in a ducted system. In a duct-free system, the same air volume reportedly can be achieved with a 5-hp fan. The average cost of the duct-free system would be about $15,000.

Where room size is larger than the dust-generating machinery, the latter can be located within a contamination control booth (CCB), a three-sided, ceilinged structure with integral lighting, open on the fourth side for easy access. “Booth sizes can be as small as 10-ft by 10-ft or as large as 130-ft by 50-ft [39.6m by 15.2m],” explains Ronnie Frees, president of Frees Inc. (Shreveport, La.). “Tub and shower manufacturing operations, for instance, typically require 40-ft by 40-ft [12.2m by 12.2m] containment rooms.”

An exhaust fan with relatively high airflow, typically in the 140 fpm to 160 fpm range, draws air out of the CCB, creating negative pressure within the CCB that draws air into the booth’s open end, preventing dust from escaping. A grinding booth for two to four workers measuring 22 ft wide by 7.5 ft high by 8 ft deep (6.7m by 2.3m by 2.4m) would require a 20-hp to 30-hp fan motor to pull the 160 fpm necessary to generate an air velocity of 22,000 cfm. The system would cost approximately $36,000.

Frees and other companies offer an additional “air curtain” feature that can be adapted to both large CCBs and room-size exhaust systems. A blower system is positioned at the front edges of the open booth or on the side opposite the collectors in room-size applications (see photo, this page). These blowers generate a high-velocity positive airflow angled toward the collectors to reinforce transport velocity within the booth.

To create its air curtain, Frees’ trademarked Dust-Free system uses a “push-pull” recirculation method. An exhaust fan draws dust into a dust-separation chamber at the back of the CCB where a filter tube sheet traps up to 99 percent of the airborne dust particles. The clean air then is channeled through ductwork to the open end of the chamber where it provides positive airflow, pushing the air inside the room back toward the dust collector inlet. The system uses digital direct control (DDC) to save energy. “When workers are in the containment area working, the system is on, and when they stop working, the system will gradually slow down until it is off or nearly off,” says Frees.

The source-point capture strategy can take several forms and becomes a practical option when the dust source can be localized and is especially useful when large volumes of dust are being generated by one source. “The source-point capture system offers advantages for operations where there are many different machines operating in a large space with no way to effectively group and enclose them for effective dust control,” says Abbott.

For stationary equipment — both large and small — source-point capture can be accomplished via an overhead or side-draft hood. For handheld tools, there are two options: The down draft table, which draws dust down through a perforated tabletop, does not impair tool use, but it is best used with smaller parts because large parts can block airflow and create pockets of dust-filled air. Capture also can be accomplished by affixing a suction casing, or shroud, and vacuum hose as near as possible to the dust-generating portion of the tool. (See photos, this page) Ductwork, typically located overhead, connects the dust collection unit to suction outlets from which individual hoses can be dropped down to the work area. Usually located near or along compressed air “drops,” hoses are typically looped with and run parallel to the pneumatic airline or electrical power cord for easy handling. Automatic valves can be used so that suction only occurs when the tool is actually in use.

A typical source-point capture system designed with four drops to accommodate two to four workers operating vacuum-assisted, heavy-duty sanders, for example, would require a 10-hp turbo pump and cost approximately $18,000.”

For the full report, please follow the link to the site.

_________________________________________

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

Air pollution and mental trauma

Keeping with our latest posts theme we are now looking at the effect of air pollution on our health and mental well being.  Enjoy the read!

__________________________

Air pollution drives mental trauma
Sipho Kings 03 May 2017

Mail & Guardian

“The air that they breathe kills about 20 000 South Africans each year. The number of those who struggle to breathe, sleep and exercise as a result of air pollution is unknown but international research indicates it is likely to be millions of people.

In addition, most of South Africa’s air quality monitoring stations, confined to the major metros, do not work. That means decisions are made and implemented without knowing the effect the resultant air pollution has on people’s health and mental wellbeing.

New research from the University of York in the United Kingdom, has tried to tackle this. The work — titled Can Clean Air Make You Happy? — found that nitrogen dioxide is “significantly and negatively related to life satisfaction”.

Breathing the gas has the same effect on people’s quality of life as ending a relationship, or having their partner or close family member die.

Nitrogen dioxide is emitted in great quantities by diesel vehicles and coal-fired power stations. Nitrogen dioxide gets trapped in urban areas, and forms a blanket over rural areas. In cities, tall buildings, walls and roads ensure that the gas from car exhausts is funnelled and concentrated. People walking or running down these funnels then breathe the gas in, sucking it deep into their lungs. The gas inflames the lining of their lungs, reducing immunity to lung infections. It exacerbates other conditions such as colds, bronchitis and asthma. And it increases the chances of cancer.

Air pollution tracking by Nasa has shown that Johannesburg and the Pretoria area have the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide in the southern hemisphere.

The report found a correlation between how unhappy people felt and how much bad air they breath.

When people see themselves as being in poor health, the negative effect of being exposed to nitrogen dioxide is compounded — mentally. The research says: “Nitrogen dioxide has a more substantive negative relationship with the life satisfaction of individuals who regard themselves as being in relatively poor health, as opposed to those who classify themselves as being relatively satisfied with their health.”

That finding carries with it serious implications for poorer South Africans who live downwind coal-fired power stations and have little effective access to healthcare.

It also means every person living in urban areas has their quality of life reduced by the vehicles driving around them. This is either directly through inhaling nitrogen dioxide and becoming sick and depressed.

To reach their conclusion on the effect of nitrogen dioxide, the research team took the findings from research on life satisfaction, done in the UK, and overlaid it with data on air pollution.

Similar data is not available in South Africa. For starters, air quality monitoring stations are located in large urban areas. Then, they either do not work or are inconsistent and do not give a data record from which any conclusions can be drawn.

In eThekwini, air quality pollution monitors had not reported data since 2013, according to the environment department. This is despite the port and petrochemical plants releasing toxic gases over residential areas south of Durban.

There is also little research into air quality in South Africa. In 2014, the Mail & Guardian published a rare report that had been commissioned for Eskom on the effect of its coal-fired fleet. Mostly based in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, these stations were predicted to kill 617 people a year when fully operational. A further 24 842 people would be admitted to hospital each year. The utility has consistently refused to answer questions about this data, but the research said most of the deaths would be as a result of sulphur dioxide pollution.

Diesel vehicles, the other major source of sulphur dioxide emissions, make up 20% of the South African market but there is no research into their effect on air quality. Data from the World Health Organisation for 2016 showed that Hartbeespoort has the worst air quality in South Africa, followed by Pretoria and Johannesburg. In those three cases, the levels were double that recommended as safe by the organisation.

The University of York’s work is part of a growing field of research into the psychological effect of broken environments. Previous research has shown that living near green areas improves mental and physical wellbeing.

At the moment, findings like these are not used in decision-making. The researchers said: “Unfortunately, environmental amenities often do not have prices and will therefore be typically underprovided by the market.”

So, a green area that might suck up nitrogen dioxide emissions and give people clean air will still be replaced by an apartment block because that block creates tangible profit. Fixing people’s health creates benefits that are hard to track, but still save the state in healthcare costs.

The researchers said more of this kind of work is needed: “In order to provide a clear rationale for environmental management and regulation, it is important to calculate how much value people attribute to environmental features.”

This research could start to nudge development decisions in favour of those that lead to better lives for people.”

______________________________________

Air pollution kills 20 000 per year in South Africa – as many as in traffic
Sipho Kings 12 Sep 2016

Mail & Guardian

“Air pollution kills 20 000 people in South Africa every year, costing the economy nearly R300-million. This is according to new research from the World Bank.

The research, Air Pollution: Strengthening the Economic Case for Action, concluded that air pollution kills 5.5-million people each year, making it responsible for one in every 10 deaths worldwide. That data comes from the World Health Organisation.

Five million deaths a year make air pollution the fourth leading cause of premature deaths in the world. Only smoking, obesity and dietary issues kill more people.

Writing in the research, lead author Urvashi Narain, said: “The scale of the problem is truly daunting.”

In terms of cost, the bank calculated that premature deaths cost the world economy R3-trillion in lost work days alone. Those are people that are too sick to go to work, mostly from chest problems such as asthma.

The impact of air pollution is, however, much greater when all the costs are included.

Besides the cost of missing work, people also have to spend money on staying healthy by buying things such as asthma medication. This cost is also carried by the state.

By World Bank calculations, the total cost of this to the world economy is R70-trillion a year.

Worst-hit are developing countries, according to the researchers. Over 90% of premature deaths attributed to air pollution happened in these countries, where the same percentage of the population are exposed to “dangerous levels of air pollution”.

The research looked at air pollution between 1990 and 2013, comparing the impacts of pollution in those two years.

“Air pollution is not just a health risk but also a drag on development. By causing illness and premature death, air pollution reduces the quality of life. By causing loss of productive labour, it also reduces incomes in those countries.”

Developing countries – whose rapidly growing economies translate into more pollution from coal-fired power stations and new industry – have borne the brunt of it.

According to the report, 87% of the world’s population lives in areas where the air pollution exceeds the World Health Organisation’s safe levels.

Old people and the poorest are disproportionately affected. “The poor are more likely to live and work in polluted environments, but they are less able to avoid exposure or self-protect.” The researchers said that this part of the population is then stuck, too sick to work and unable to afford medication.

The bank concluded: “Air pollution is a challenge that threatens basic human welfare, damages natural and physical capital, and constrains economic growth.”

The same logic follows in South Africa. The apartheid regime put poor, non-white people downwind of industrial sites. In its 2014 investigation titled Slow Poison: Air pollution, public health and failing governance, nongovernmental group Groundwork said: “People are still polluted and made sick by this pollution.”

Writing in that report, the group’s head Bobby Peek said: “The blueprint for a black neighbourhood was a waste dumpsite, where waste from rich white neighbourhoods and dirty industry was dumped.””

______________________________________

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

Air Pollution In Johannesburg

SOUTH AFRICA- Aerial view of Johannesburg

Following up on our last post regarding air pollution in China, I’ve brought it closer to home and given you some articles to read on air pollution in Johannesburg.

Again, please follow the links to read the full or original articles.

_________________________________

Johannesburg Can’t Compromise On Air PollutionHuffPost
Herman Mashaba, Mayor of Johannesburg

“In South Africa, air pollution is more severe in urban areas, and the city of Johannesburg is no exception.

The majority of our country’s population migrates to the cities from rural areas for economic reasons, attracted by employment opportunities available in the urban centers. This results in the mushrooming of dense, low-income, informal settlements –– which are mostly under-resourced and do not have access to basic amenities, including electricity supply.

The city completed a baseline assessment of its air quality, which identified that the city’s air pollution emanates from domestic fuel burning, vehicle emissions, industries, biomass burning and mine storage facilities.

The city has a network of nine ambient air-quality monitoring stations that include stations in Alexandra, Ivory Park, Diepsloot, Jabavu, Orange Farm, Buccleuch, Davidsonville, Delta Park and Newtown. Seven of the stations are in residential areas, and two are traffic-emission stations. The data from these monitoring stations is compared to the national applicable standards, which are set to protect the public’s health and well-being.

Unfortunately, the city’s poorest communities often bear the brunt of higher levels of poor air quality. Over time, the monitoring stations located in the city’s residential areas have observed record pollution levels higher than the national standard, especially during the cold winter months, when most people still use fossil fuel for heating.

It is the city of Johannesburg’s priority to improve the city’s air quality –– to ensure pro-poor development that addresses inequality and poverty, and provides meaningful redress. Unfortunately, air pollution affects more of our poor communities in the city because of inequality and years of poor infrastructure planning.

To improve the city’s air quality, we have completed a review of our air quality management plan and our air pollution control bylaws. The plan provides the city’s vision and goals for the next five years. A regulatory framework has been developed to manage other sources of air pollution in the city. The two documents are in the final stage of completion, and public consultations will take place prior to their finalization.

In terms of the national Air Quality Act 39 of 2004, the city is responsible for air quality management ― both in terms of regulations and compliance enforcement. In terms of the city’s regulatory function, all the industrial activities that are identified in the act as significant emitters that contribute to poor air quality are licensed, and a total of 37 such facilities exist in the city. These facilities are issued with atmospheric emission licenses, which set out emission limits that are regularly monitored for compliance. Those that are found to be noncompliant are subject to enforcement actions.

The interventions that deal with emissions from domestic fuel burning are complex and require a multifaceted approach. Materials used for domestic fuel are often not by choice, since in many cases people don’t have access to electricity –– and even when it is available, they can’t afford it.

To mitigate against this, the city has prioritized the upgrade of informal settlements, which includes the provision of electricity and other amenities for those registered on the city’s indigent register. The interventions are aimed at improving our communities, while simultaneously improving the quality of air. Additionally, the city has allocated budget for new housing units that are insulated and require less energy for interior heating, and are fitted with solar water heaters.

The city’s approach to dealing with air pollution involves programs that respond to specific pollution sources. Small industries and vehicles are included in our draft bylaws to ensure control, and they set out appropriate operational conditions to ensure the reduction of emissions in these sectors over time. These measures include permits and the creation of smoke-free zones in an attempt to reduce the city’s air pollution. The city is also collaborating with other spheres of government to deal with issues such as dust from mine storage facilities.

Domestic waste burning is a result of illegal waste dumping. Although the city has various programs and interventions to resolve illegal dumping, our most significant intervention is the city-wide A Re Sebetseng monthly cleanup campaign. This monthly campaign is a ward-based cleaning initiative on the last Saturday of every month that encourages residents and communities to reduce their communal carbon footprint.

The project enhances the city’s investment of 50 million rand into Pikitup for a third cleaning shift within the city. This investment is expected to grow to 82 million rand in the medium term. A Re Sebetseng is modeled on the Rwanda Umuganda, which is also a monthly campaign where all residents come together to clean Kigali. Through this campaign, the city of Kigali is now known as the cleanest city in Africa.”

For the complete article, follow the link above.

_____________________

Joburg plans to clear the air
A partnership between Johannesburg and IBM will give the city automated, real-time data on air pollution
22 MARCH 2018 – 11:59 KATE FERREIRA

Financial Mail

“As more and more people flock to cities, the threat of environmental pollution and its associated health risks grow — conjuring images of swarms of people in pollution masks.

Compounding this is the growth in “dirty” industry and urban sprawl that brings people in closer contact with factories, mines and manufacturing plants — and the pollution they produce. But technology presents city management with a new tool to measure and even combat this. One such project is playing out on the streets of Johannesburg.

Exposure to air pollution is a risk factor in respiratory complaints, heart disease, stroke and cancer. The World Health Organisation (WHO) calls it the world’s single biggest environmental health risk, and in 2012 attributed around 7m deaths to its effects — with the majority of these in low-and middle-income countries.

The World Bank estimates air pollution kills around 20,000 people annually in SA, and puts the cost to the economy, through factors like health-care costs and lost productivity, at R300m.

SA has standards in place to try to curb this. Gauteng subscribes to a provincial air quality control management plan — drawn from the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act — that prescribes limits to things like particulate matter and the levels of certain compounds and elements, including sulphur dioxide, ozone, lead and carbon monoxide, in the air. But measuring these, and potentially identifying and punishing transgressors, remains a challenge.

Here the power of the Internet of Things and big data gives us the kind of insight that city governments and regulators could previously only dream of.

That’s the crux of a Joburg air quality project being run by the City of Johannesburg and IBM Research. At the IBM Research lab in the Tshimologong precinct in Braamfontein, Tapiwa Chiwewe is using machine learning and analytics to measure several air quality factors, forecast potential poor air quality events, and even use “reverse-forecasting” to pinpoint culprits not sticking to the standards.

The lab was established in 2016, as IBM’s second research facility on the continent. Chiwewe is its manager for advanced and applied artificial intelligence.

“We like to speak about solving Africa’s grand challenges, and one that we identified is air pollution.”

The idea first sparked for Chiwewe on his daily commute into town from Pretoria, when he noticed the haze hanging over the city. From there they reached out to the city authorities, who Chiwewe describes as progressive in their thinking about the issue.

They struck an agreement to draw pollutant monitoring data from six air quality monitoring stations around Johannesburg, as well as historical data from the city dating back to 2004, and further data from the Vaal Triangle and City of Tshwane monitoring stations. The stations also monitor other parameters, such as weather conditions.

Unlike some big data applications, a key element here is not the size (in terabytes, for example) of data being crunched, but the rate, says Chiwewe. Each of the stations is taking multiple readings an hour (some every 10 minutes) and these feed back to IBM and are processed for near real-time insight.

City of Johannesburg spokesman Nthatisi Modingoane says the analytics and forecasting strengthen the city’s air quality management strategies. Among other things it enables an early-warning system and tracks the effectiveness of intervention strategies. “In future it will change the way air-quality information is communicated to the public,” he says.

“Air quality data is meaningful only if it’s easily interpreted and readily available. It is at this level that it changes the lives of people, as forecasting can enable members of communities that are sensitive to poor air quality to [choose] whether to expose themselves or not,” he says.

In exchange for data access, the city gets access to a platform IBM developed that stores and crunches the data. This can produce an air quality index and alerts, and show location and temporal trends in air pollution that can be mapped onto the city, and could potentially be a tool to check actual emissions against the values on an emissions licence. It also feeds into city and developmental planning. This transforms the monitoring from a manual process — using spreadsheets and pivot tables — to one showing real-time data visualisations.

The platform is not public, but it has the potential to feed into public-facing applications, such as websites or apps that could colour-code the air quality status to be less scientific and more user-friendly, or issue alerts for certain areas if they anticipate an “adverse pollution event”.

There are many similar projects running throughout the world – both private and publicly backed – as the Internet of Things becomes mainstream. In SA, Open Data Durban won a grant to install air-and water-quality sensors in a Durban township for monitoring and data journalism purposes. The City of Cape Town also makes a portion of its historical air quality data (2013–2016) publicly available online.”

Please follow the link to the original article to read it in full.

_______________________________

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

Single Bucket DustWatch unit

Single Bucket DustWatch unit

Air Pollution in China

Air pollution in China

Here are some interesting article on the issue of air pollution in China.  Please follow the links provided to the original articles.

_________________________________________

Impact of ambient fine particulate matter air pollution on health behaviors: a longitudinal study of university students in Beijing, China.

PubMed NCBI

“OBJECTIVES:
Poor air quality has become a national public health concern in China. This study examines the impact of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution on health behaviors among college students in Beijing, China.

STUDY DESIGN:
Prospective cohort study.

METHODS:
Health surveys were repeatedly administered among 12,000 newly admitted students at Tsinghua University during 2012-2015 over their freshman year. Linear individual fixed-effect regressions were performed to estimate the impacts of ambient PM2.5 concentration on health behaviors among survey participants, adjusting for various time-variant individual characteristics and environmental measures.

RESULTS:
Ambient PM2.5 concentration was found to be negatively associated with time spent on walking, vigorous physical activity and sedentary behavior in the last week, but positively associated with time spent on nighttime/daytime sleep among survey participants. An increase in the ambient PM2.5 concentration by one standard deviation (36.5 μg/m³) was associated with a reduction in weekly total minutes of walking by 7.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.3-9.4), a reduction in weekly total minutes of vigorous physical activity by 10.1 (95% CI = 8.5-11.7), a reduction in daily average hours of sedentary behavior by 0.06 (95% CI = 0.02-0.10) but an increase in daily average hours of nighttime/daytime sleep by 1.07 (95% CI = 1.04-1.11).

CONCLUSIONS:
Ambient PM2.5 air pollution was inversely associated with physical activity level but positively associated with sleep duration among college students. Future studies are warranted to replicate study findings in other Chinese cities and universities, and policy interventions are urgently called to reduce air pollution level in China’s urban areas.”

Copyright © 2018 The Royal Society for Public Health. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

______________________

Is air quality in China a social problem?ChinaPower

“The human and fiscal cost of air pollution is irrefutable. Since 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) has tracked air quality to measure its effect on heart disease, strokes, lung cancer, and other respiratory illnesses. China and India each had 1.1 million air pollution-related deaths in 2015, accounting for half of the world’s total air pollution deaths that year.

Chinese leaders face the difficult choice of prioritizing either economic growth or environmental and social welfare. For the past several years, Beijing has a made a concerted effort to reduce high concentrations of air pollution across China.

An Air Quality Index (AQI) is a measure for reporting the safety level of air in a specific location. The AQI provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses “breakpoints” that correspond to a defined pollution concentration. Breakpoints are scaled between 0 and 500.

How does air quality in China compare with other countries?
Countries with a developed or developing industrial sector often face a tradeoff between rapid economic growth – without the constraints of environmental regulations – or public and environmental welfare measures. This challenge is not a recent phenomenon. Advanced economies, like the UK and Sweden, continue to work toward environmental protection while supporting their economic and industrial sectors. The challenge arguably has greater repercussions for developing countries, as their economic development often depends on industrial output.

Most advanced economies began to regulate air pollution after de-industrialization was already underway. This period coincided with better public awareness of the health consequences of pollution. After the 1952 “Great Smog of London” was estimated to have killed at least 4,000 people, the UK introduced the Clean Air Act of 1956 to restrict emissions. Due to the lack of consistent data, the extent to which the act directly contributed to air-quality improvements is unknown, but the post-1960 difference was dramatic; urban concentrations of smoke fell by 80 percent and sulfur dioxide by 70 percent within 20 years.

In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency introduced the Clean Air Act in 1970, with subsequent amendments in 1977 and 1990. The Clean Air Act established national air-quality standards, and has been associated with reductions in sulfur dioxide and other pollutants, leading to an immediate reduction in infant mortality rates. In 1972, an estimated 1,300 infants survived as a consequence of the Clean Air Act.2 Although the U.S. public has benefited from this regulation, economic losses were incurred during this transition. In the 15 years following the 1970 and 1977 Clean Air Act amendments, it is estimated that American counties found in violation of regulation lost about 590,000 jobs, $37 billion in capital goods, and $75 billion in production.”

For the complete article, please follow the link to the site.

_________________________

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