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Mine Safety: Basis for Proposed Exposure Limit on Respirable Coal Mine Dust and Possible Approaches for Lowering Dust Levels
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Revae Martin (au)
Underground coal miners face the threat of being overexposed to coal mine dust, which can cause coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) and other lung diseases, collectively referred to as black lung disease. In Oct. 2010, the Mine Safety and Health Admin. (MSHA) -- the federal agency responsible for setting and enforcing mine safety and health standards -- proposed lowering the exposure limit for respirable coal mine dust to reduce miners' risk of contracting black lung. In Aug. 2012, GAO reported that the evidence MSHA used supported its conclusion that lowering the exposure limit on coal mine dust would reduce miners' risk of disease. However, some have questioned whether and how recent health trend data on CWP were used in developing the proposed limit. This report examined (1) the extent to which MSHA used recent CWP trend data as a basis for its proposed exposure limit; and (2) expert views on ways to lower the level of dust in coal mines. Figure. This is a print on demand report.
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