Monitoring Respirable Crystalline Silica

At DustWatch we are always concerned about the health and safety of our clients.  Have a look at these articles regarding Monitoring Respirable Crystalline Silica.

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Silver Membranes in Monitoring Respirable Crystalline Silica – Sterlitech 

“Crystalline silica, most commonly found in the form of quartz, is a basic component of the earth; it’s found in soil, sand granite, and other minerals. During many industrial processes, crystalline silica is released as particles that are 100 times smaller than beach sand.1 Due to their size, these mineral particles cannot easily be cleared by human lungs. Instead, they persist in the respiratory system and form scar tissue, contributing to serious health problems for those experiencing prolonged exposure. The associated silicosis and other forms of cancer are a threat to workers in mining, construction, and other industrial trades.2

There is a global awareness of this seriousness of this issue, and the World Health Organization has published assessment documents detailing the negative health effects of exposure. Here in the US, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a Final Rule on Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica, to provide guidance for the safety of industrial workers.3 The ruling published in March 2016 puts the responsibility on companies to create a low-risk environment, with enforcement in the form of fines (potentially over $12,000 per day) going into effect for some industries starting in September 2017.3 Beyond recommending proper personal protective equipment, ventilation systems, and replacement of silica when safer materials can be used, this ruling establishes a permissible exposure limit (PEL) at 50 μg/m3. This means that only 1/5th of the previously allowed PEL is now considered safe in the workplace.2

To monitor levels of crystalline silica, employers can take routine samples and have them analyzed in a lab. A portable sampler is used to collect air from the worker’s respirable area during a full shift. The dust captured on the filter is then analyzed using a standard method, such as NIOSH 7500.4 In this method, the filter is then dissolved and redeposited on a 0.45 micron silver membrane for measurement using x-ray diffraction. Silver membranes have become the standard for x-ray diffraction analysis due to their high sample-load capacity and characteristically low background noise during analysis.

The results of these analyses help employers understand whether they need to be taking more action to protect their workers. OSHA estimates that the steps advised in their ruling will save 600 lives and prevent 900 cases of silicosis every year.5 For now, companies in regulated industries are developing control plans and training workers to ensure compliance with the new rules. It remains to be seen what the full impact of enforcement will mean for their employees and their business.”

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Taylor & Francis Online – Crystalline Silica Dust and Respirable Particulate Matter During Indoor Concrete Grinding—Wet Grinding and Ventilated Grinding Compared with Uncontrolled Conventional Grinding

“The effectiveness of wet grinding (wet dust reduction method) and ventilated grinding (local exhaust ventilation method, LEV) in reducing the levels of respirable crystalline silica dust (quartz) and respirable suspended particulate matter (RSP) were compared with that of uncontrolled (no dust reduction method) conventional grinding. A field laboratory was set up to simulate concrete surface grinding using hand-held angle grinders in an enclosed workplace. A total of 34 personal samples (16 pairs side-by-side and 2 singles) and 5 background air samples were collected during 18 concrete grinding sessions ranging from 15–93 min. General ventilation had no statistically significant effect on operator’s exposure to dust. Overall, the arithmetic mean concentrations of respirable crystalline silica dust and RSP in personal air samples during: (i) five sessions of uncontrolled conventional grinding were respectively 61.7 and 611 mg/m 3 (ii) seven sessions of wet grinding were 0.896 and 11.9 mg/m3 and (iii) six sessions of LEV grinding were 0.155 and 1.99 mg/m3. Uncontrolled conventional grinding generated relatively high levels of respirable silica dust and proportionally high levels of RSP. Wet grinding was effective in reducing the geometric mean concentrations of respirable silica dust 98.2% and RSP 97.6%. LEV grinding was even more effective and reduced the geometric mean concentrations of respirable silica dust 99.7% and RSP 99.6%. Nevertheless, the average level of respirable silica dust (i) during wet grinding was 0.959 mg/m3 (38 times the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists [ACGIH] threshold limit value [TLV] of 0.025 mg/m 3 ) and (ii) during LEV grinding was 0.155 mg/m 3 (6 times the ACGIH TLV). Further studies are needed to examine the effectiveness of a greater variety of models, types, and sizes of grinders on different types of cement in different positions and also to test the simulated field lab experimentation in the field.”

For the full article, please follow the link above.

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

What is Sonic Drilling

“Sonic drilling is an advanced form of drilling which employs the use of high-frequency, resonant energy generated inside the Sonic head to advance a core barrel or casing into subsurface formations. During drilling, the resonant energy is transferred down the drill string to the bit face at various Sonic frequencies.”

“Sonic drilling is easy to use and it is a safe technique to employ when drilling. This technique is cost effective and there is less waste to clear away once the job is done. This type of drilling is also environmentally-friendly and can be completed quickly. Sonic drilling is assisted with a small amount of rotation which enables the drill bit to easily move through the earth regardless of the type of soil or rocks used.”

Advantages

Sonic drilling can drill through nearly all types of soil and rock.
When using sonic drilling in soil 30m or less, the drilling is quick.
Sonic drilling allows for limited contamination.
Sealed exploratory soil samples can be extracted.
There is less environmental disturbance.
Formation waters can be sampled while using sonic drilling.
Easy to operate.

Disadvantages

The process slows down the further down you drill.
The depth of 200 metres is about the maximum depth drilling can go.
Can be expensive.

Sonic – The Buzz –  Is it Profitable to be Environmentally Friendly?

“As media coverage on climate change continues to grow, many drilling
companies are looking for new ways to leave a “smaller footprint” on the
environment.

By creating a smaller impact, clients are happier, the environment suffers
less and companies, who take the climate challenge seriously, can feel
good about their style of corporate citizenship.
But is it profitable to also be environmentally friendly? Absolutely, says Ray
Roussy, president of the Sonic Drill Corporation and patent holder of the
revolutionary sonic drill.

“Any time you can drill without any drilling fluids such as mud or water,
you’re able to pocket the costs of site clean-up and waste disposal,” says
Roussy. “And you’re doing wonders for the environment by not having to
haul up and dispose of contaminated drilling fluids.”

While most drilling techniques require some type of drilling fluid, the sonic
drill can core completely dry (to a depth of 300 ft.) and it can case with a
limited amount of fresh water or completely dry, as well, if required.
Ultimately, there is less mess, less site disruption and drastically reduced
site clean-up costs.

“The sonic drill rig can also extrude a core sample into a sealed bag for
examination later in a controlled environment,” says Roussy. “This feature
prevents employees from coming in contact with the core sample and it
minimizes any fumes from escaping from the sample,” he adds.”

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

Researchers study particulate matter in air samples

Have a look at these two articles on particulate matter in air samples.

Follow the links to the original articles.

Particulate Matter

Researchers study particulate matter in air samples
July 3, 2018 by Andrea Six, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
Phys.org

“Current legal limits for fine dust in the air are based on the mass and size of the particles. For health effects, however, not only the amount of dust is decisive, but also its chemical composition. Empa researchers have now compared the noxious potential of particulate matter in Switzerland and in China.

Anyone who is suddenly shaken by an uncontrollable cough attack on a cloudy day may suffer from the consequences of high fine dust load in the air. Breathing problems, cardiovascular disease and even lung cancer can be caused by these tiny particles. They include soot, metals and engineered nanoparticles. In order to control air quality more widely, a stricter Ordinance on Air Pollution Control has come into effect in Switzerland on 1 June 2018. Since then, PM2.5 has been created as the second standard for even finer suspended solids in addition to PM10. However, both values are only based on the amount of particles smaller than certain size limits – i.e. 10 or 2.5 micrometers in diameter. Empa researchers have now shown in a study that the amount of fine dust alone does not necessarily indicate the noxious potential of the polluted air.

How dangerous is particulate matter? An analysis

Jing Wang and his team from Empa’s Advanced Analytical Technologies lab examined air samples from Switzerland and China. As expected, the air quality of the metropolitan Beijing region performed worse than the samples from Switzerland. With their detailed analyses, however, the researchers also revealed that the composition of fine dust differs. “If we look at the so-called oxidative potential of particulate matter, for example, the effect of some Swiss samples with comparable particle quantities was more severe and therefore more momentous than in China,” says Wang.

The oxidative potential is a measure of the damaging effect of fine dust, as aggressive substances trigger oxidative stress and reactions of the body’s immune system. Oxidative stress can be caused by metals such as cadmium and arsenic or soot particles. In China, large quantities of ultrafine arsenic particles indicated an increased health risk. Samples from the Zurich suburb of Dübendorf, on the other hand, contained significantly more iron particles in the 10 micrometer range. “The iron particles originate from the abrasion of the nearby railway line,” says the researcher. Together with copper and manganese, the iron dust in the Dübendorf air contributed to the oxidative potential of the air samples.

Another Swiss value attracted the attention of the Empa researchers: The air sample from a Swiss farm fared worse than that from a busy road in the middle of Beijing, at least as far as the contamination with certain bacterial products was concerned. It is known that such endotoxins are abundant in the air in the surroundings of cows and Co. And especially for people with a weakened immune system, particles contaminated with bacterial endotoxins can pose a serious health risk.

“The effects of fine particles on air quality and health cannot be assessed solely on the basis of their amount,” says Wang. “But if the composition of particulate matter is known, a regionally adapted health protection can be implemented.” Otherwise one runs the risk of underestimating the regional air pollution or of taking measures that don’t reduce the health risk. Jing Wang and his team are now working on developing standards for more precise analyses of particulate matter. The aim should be to identify dangerous components more easily and to prevent health risks with optimized strategies.”

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Particulate Matter (PM) Pollution

EPA

What is PM, and how does it get into the air?

“PM stands for particulate matter (also called particle pollution): the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope.

Particle pollution includes:

PM10 : inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller; and
PM2.5 : fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller.
How small is 2.5 micrometers? Think about a single hair from your head. The average human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter – making it 30 times larger than the largest fine particle.
Sources of PM
These particles come in many sizes and shapes and can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals.

Some are emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires.

Most particles form 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.

What are the Harmful Effects of PM?
Particulate matter contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can be inhaled and cause serious health problems. Particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream.

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.”

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

Landfill Mining

Some interesting articles on landfill mining and it’s potentials as well as the issues regarding SA’s landfill situation.

Mining News

Closure, rehabilitation a major issue as SA’s landfills reach capacity

“With landfill space in South Africa at a premium, the controlled, planned, and systematic filling of landfill cells requires progressive closure and rehabilitation. This is a highly specialised endeavour that requires an integrated infrastructure delivery company like AECOM to drive it.
Landfills may need to be closed for various reasons, including unacceptable environmental impacts such as groundwater pollution, and/or unmanageable air pollution such as dust or odours. Geological issues include dolomitic ground conditions, which can result in water ingress and sinkhole formation. In many instances, improving landfill management and operations is a necessary first step, but if this proves unsuccessful, closure becomes necessary.

Landfills are usually designed with a specific lifespan, determined by the volume of waste that can be handled. Once filled to capacity, landfills must be closed and decommissioned, as stipulated in the Waste Management Licence. However, effective landfill remediation poses a challenge for both public and private entities.

Navigating the regulatory process, coordinating the different phases of the project, and establishing a long-term plan for post-closure reuse are only the beginning. Landfill site problems are often bigger than the eyesore created by the huge piles of waste. At one point or another, landfill sites will have to be closed.

“While this may seem like the end of the story, it is only the beginning of the next chapter in the life of the landfill,” comment Nicolas Vanhecke, Practice Lead: Remediation Services, and Soleil Jones, Environmental Scientist, at AECOM.

The process of landfill closure and remediation is legislated by the National Environmental Management Waste Act (NEMWA), the Water Act and the Waste Management Series, as promulgated by the Department of Water and Sanitation.

While it might seem that the closure process only commenced once the landfill has reached the end of its useful life, there are factors that can need to be attended to while the site is still operational. The slopes of the waste body must be resolved to ensure they lie at a safe angle.
This should be maintained throughout the operational phase, after which capping is carried out by means of an engineered liner. Furthermore, all stormwater run-off must be diverted away from the waste body so as to separate the clean and dirty water circuits, and to prevent leachate soaking into the waste body, which can result in subsequent groundwater pollution and odours.

The site must also be fully secured, and access-controlled, in order to prevent trespassers. For example, there could be an issue with people remining the waste body for recyclables, which presents a fire risk, as well as allowing rainwater to permeate the waste body.

“In the past, little to no consideration was given to the potential environmental impacts of landfills on human health and the larger environment, which is why today’s landfills are licenced, and with very specific engineering design,” Vanhecke and Jones highlight.

The remediation process depends on factors such as the type and classification of the waste, and the size of the landfill. Most of the time, the remediation process consists of waste reprofiling; capping, usually with topsoil such as clay or with a geotextile; revegetating, usually with indigenous grass; and, finally, closure. Once properly remediated, the landfill site could be used for anything from parkland to recreational infrastructure or even grassland, depending on the preference of the landfill owner, the surrounding community, and the regulatory authorities.

If the site is smaller, site reclamation can be conducted via an excavation-transfer-treatment process. A key element in site reclamation is the transformation of anaerobic to aerobic conditions in the landfilled waste. Depending on the waste accumulated in the landfill, a methane gas plant can be installed to recuperate methane for energy purposes.

Following closure and remediation, the landfill site is subject to a post-closure monitoring period, which is recommended for up to 30 years. This is in order to monitor the integrity of the capping, and the impact of the quality of the groundwater quality in and around the waste body.
There may also be a need for ongoing pumping and treatment of the leachate that gathers in the leachate collection system. The landfill will also most likely require a methane management system, whether that be done by landfill gas harvesting, or regular flaring, so as to prevent methane build-up, fire risk, and air pollution.

Adherence to legislation is key, and therefore a preliminary closure plan and end-use options for the landfill should be outlined from the outset of the project, and addressed ideally in the Environmental Impact Assessment phase. Financial provision must be made for these engineering works and materials, and a more detailed rehabilitation and closure plan must be developed as soon as landfill operations commence.

Some successful international examples of remediated landfills in urban areas include the London Olympic Stadium (2012), the Milan Universal Expo (2015), and the Confluence neighbourhood of Lyon in France, which is one of the biggest landfill rehabilitation projects in Europe.”

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Landfill mining: is this the next big thing in recycling?  World Economic Forum 

“For more than 100 years, the world has been discarding its unwanted waste in landfill sites. There are at least 500,000 of these sites in Europe alone, according to estimates by the European Enhanced Landfill Mining Consortium (EURELCO). Only some are still operational.

What concerns many experts is that a lot of these landfills are located in semi-urban environments. In Europe, fortunately, most of the still-operational landfills are so-called “sanitary” landfills, which are equipped with state-of-the-art environmental protection and gas-collection systems. It means that for these sites environmental pollution and release of greenhouse gas emissions from these landfills are avoided.

An environmental hazard
But this still leaves a good 90% in a “non-sanitary” condition. These landfills, which generally predate the EU’s Landfill Directive of 1999, have little or no protection technologies.

The situation is no better elsewhere in the world: the vast majority of landfills in regions such as Asia and Africa are downright “waste dumps”. These deposits could cause serious environmental problems, ranging from local pollution concerns (health, soil and water) and land-use restrictions to global impacts in terms of greenhouse-gas emissions.

Landfills are one of the major sources of methane emissions, a notoriously powerful greenhouse gas.

The “do nothing” scenario is not an option, as politicians and other stakeholders agreed at a landfill mining seminar organized by the European Parliament and EURELCO in 2015. For the thousands of waste dumps beyond Europe, the same conclusion can be drawn.

But remediation measures are pricey and environmentally risky. It costed Flanders’ public waste agency, OVAM, €80 million to excavate and move hazardous waste to state-of-the-art sanitary landfills between the years 1993 and 2001. For most of the EU member states – not to mention developing countries – costs like these are prohibitive.

Potential goldmines
However, by combining landfill remediation with resource recovery of the excavated waste, the net cost of the remediation activity can be drastically reduced. How? By generating recyclable goods and energy (carriers), all of which can provide much-needed revenue to counterbalance the cost of remediation.

In fact, if landfill mining followed the principles of the “enhanced landfill mining” approach, where higher added value outputs are targeted, the net economic balance of the combined remediation-landfill mining activity can even become positive, which is especially the case for larger landfills where economies of scale become relevant. As such, remediation combined with enhanced landfill mining can generate an income for public waste agencies, and this can then be used to cover the costs of remediating and mining smaller, less economic landfills that pose short-term environmental and health risks.

So, what exactly is enhanced landfill mining?
Officially defined as “the integrated valorization of landfilled waste streams as materials and energy”, enhanced mining extracts valuable materials from both landfilled industrial waste and municipal solid waste.

Industrial residues arise during the production of aluminium, zinc, copper or steel. In many cases these residues contain significant quantities of metals that are short in supply and that are central to the development of clean technologies, such as photovoltaic cells, e-cars or wind turbines.

Enhanced landfill mining is also relevant for municipal solid waste. In this case landfill mining separates waste into directly recyclable materials (glass, plastic, metals, aggregates) and a refuse-derived fuel fraction, which is further converted into high-added-value products. Using the new plasma gasification technology, it is possible to transform this refuse-derived fuel fraction into hydrogen and a mineral residue fraction that is then upcycled into a green, low-carbon cement.

The enhanced landfill mining approach is currently being demonstrated in two flagship projects funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme, ETN NEW-MINE (for municipal solid waste) and METGROW+ (for industrial waste).

This sort of mining can transform landfills, particularly those in urban environments, from a threat and a cost, into an opportunity for resource recovery. It closes the loop, injecting additional resource circularity and resilience into the economy.”

For the complete article, please follow the link above

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

DustWatch Training Course 13-15 November 2018

Please note that the training course for Pretoria is scheduled for 13, 14, 15 November 2018.

Kloof Bed and Breakfast

570 Rutgers Street, Moreleta Park, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Cellphone: +27 (0)82 923 3730 | Facsimile: +27 (0)86 672 6310
E-mail: kloofbb@telkomsa.net | www.Kloofbb.co.za

Contact Person for accommodation bookings: (Optional – Any accommodation can be used but this is the venue for the training and is recommended)

Erica Lottering

Mobile no: 082 923 3730

Email: kloofbb@telkomsa.net

Website: www.kloofbb.co.za

Please book accommodation if required independently at this venue or an alternative venue.  The training will take place at this venue.

Please diarise those dates if you can make it, and RSVP by 1 November 2018 if possible.

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

The costs for the training – R3028 per person per day, and the course runs for three days.  You can also select which days to attend if you do not want to attend all three days.

Below is a brief outline of the course, although the course will be customised to meet the specific needs of those attending.

Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding any queries.

Sincerely

Chris Loans

DustWatch CC – Precipitant Dust Monitoring

082 875 0209 or 021 789 0847 (Chris)
083 308 4764 (Gerry)
0866 181 421 (Fax)
www.dustwatch.com

______________Course Information___________________________________________________

The course has three main topics that will be covered over the three days.

  1. Fallout dust monitoring theory (Day 1)
  2. Fallout dust monitoring practical (Day 2)
  3. Fallout Dust Monitoring Reporting (Day 3)

The fallout dust monitoring section of the course aims to train the trainees so that they are able to do the following.

  1. Understand what fallout dust monitoring achieves and what is collected.  This will include discussion around the legislative requirements and will also address the possible influences of dust sensitive areas like communities, hospitals, farms, and recreational areas.
  2. Prepare buckets, transport buckets and change buckets in the Fallout Dust Monitoring units.
  3. Filter the bucket contents using a filter bench and using the related equipment used in the filtering process.  This includes advice on how to minimise the filtering time and what can be done when samples are taking very long to filter.
  4. Understand how to calculate the fallout dust monitoring results in mg/m2/day and how to interpret these results.
  5. Report writing and presentation options for the results will also be discussed.
  6. Some computer training may also be included in the course if required.
  7. Access to our software for processing of the fallout dust data will also be included after the course.  This can be used to simplify the data collection and report writing and will also provide a database of the fallout dust levels over the years.

The course will be presented by Christopher Loans who is a Professional Chemical Engineer with a Masters in Occupational Hygiene focused on the Mining Industry.

 

Yours faithfully

Chris Loans

021 789 0847

082 875 0209

083 308 4764

chris@dustwatch.com

www.dustwatch.com

 

  1. If you want to be removed from this email list, please just click reply and send the email or call 021 789 0847

Sahara dust may make you cough, but it’s a storm killer

Sahara Desert

An interesting read from Phys.org (please follow the links to the original articles) regarding the effect of dust from the Sahara Desert on the USA.

Sahara Desert

Sahara dust may make you cough, but it’s a storm killer

Phys.org
July 20, 2018, Texas A&M University

“The bad news: Dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa—totaling a staggering 2 to 9 trillion pounds worldwide—has been almost a biblical plague on Texas and much of the Southern United States in recent weeks. The good news: the same dust appears to be a severe storm killer.

Research from a team of scientists led by Texas A&M University has studied Saharan dust and their work is published in the current issue of the Journal of Climate of AMS (American Meteorological Society).

Texas A&M’s Bowen Pan, Tim Logan, and Renyi Zhang in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences analyzed recent NASA satellite images and computer models and said the Saharan dust is composed of sand and other mineral particles that are swept up in air currents and pushed over the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and other nearby regions.

As the dust-laden air moves, it creates a temperature inversion which in turn tends to prevent cloud—and eventually—storm formation.

It means fewer storms and even hurricanes are less likely to strike when the dust is present.

“The Saharan dust will reflect and absorb sunlight, therefore reduce the sunlight at the Earth’s surface,” said Pan.

“If we have more frequent and severe dust storms, it’s likely that we have a cooler sea surface temperature and land surface temperature. The storms have less energy supply from the colder surface therefore will be less severe.”

The study goes on to show that dust and storm formation don’t mix.

“Our results show significant impacts of dust on the radiative budget, hydrological cycle, and large-scale environments relevant to tropical cyclone activity over the Atlantic,” said Zhang.

“Dust may decrease the sea surface temperature, leading to suppression of hurricanes. For the dust intrusion over the past few days, it was obvious that dust suppressed cloud formation in our area. Basically, we saw few cumulus clouds over the last few days. Dust particles reduce the radiation at the ground, but heats up in the atmosphere, both leading to more stable atmosphere. Such conditions are unfavorable for cloud formation.”

Zhang said that the chances of a hurricane forming tended to be much less and “our results show that dust may reduce the occurrence of hurricanes over the Gulf of Mexico region.”

Logan said that recent satellite images clearly show the Saharan dust moving into much of the Gulf of Mexico and southern Texas.

“The movement of the dust is there,” Zhang said, “but predictions of dust storms can be very challenging.”

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More category 5 hurricanes forecasted by scientists

Phys.org
July 18, 2018, Chapman University

“In the midst of hurricane season, climatologists around the world are monitoring tropical storm formations that have the potential to escalate into deadly hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season included 17 named storms last year, many of which proved to be costly and destructive for communities in their path. Hurricanes are becoming stronger and wetter due to rising sea and air temperatures. Saharan dust storms can also play a role in hurricane formation. Researchers at Chapman University have learned from studying 2012’s Hurricane Sandy, that we are more likely to see larger, more powerful hurricanes in the future.

“Although Sandy was a Category 3 storm when it made landfall in Cuba, it became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record when measured by diameter, with winds spanning 900 miles,” said Chapman University Climatologist Hesham El-Askary, Ph.D.

A Saharan dust event occurring in West Africa weeks before Sandy had formed carried large amounts of mineral dust into the troposphere, filling the tropical wave that became Sandy with aerosols along a majority of its path. By monitoring dust storms, Dr. El-Askary was able to tie this occurrence to the role it played in the hurricane’s development from a Category 1 to a Category 3 storm. With this work, he hopes to provide more accurate forecasting for these types of extreme weather occurrences.”

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

Is Dust Worse in Summer?

Dust mites and allergies

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

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How to Beat Summer AllergiesWebMD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dust Mite Solutions 

The Worst Time of Year for Dust Mite Allergy Symptoms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dehumidifiers

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

Air Purifiers

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

Air Conditioning Filters

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

Don’t Sweep, Use HEPA Vacuums!

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

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

Dust Storms in the Sahara

Sahara Dust Storms

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

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Vast Dust Storms in the Sahara

Earth Observatory

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Apr 2018

Aljazeera

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 Jun 2018

Aljazeera 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dust Bucket Sizes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The buckets from the USA are these ones – 

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

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

Please contact DustWatch regarding any queries.

Kind Regards

Chris Loans

CSIR unveils technologies to enhance mine safety

Mine safety

CSIR unveils technologies to enhance mine safetyMining Weekly

BY: NADINE JAMES
CREAMER MEDIA WRITER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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7 Steps to Safer, Healthier Mining EmployeesMining Safety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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