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Monitoring Device May Cut Coal Dust Inhalation

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration requests information regarding whether use of the relatively new Continuous Personal Dust Monitor may lead to more effective monitoring and control of miners' exposure to respirable coal mine dust.

The sampling device is accurate, precise, and durable in providing continuous exposure information previously not available to coal miners and coal mine operators, according to a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's 2006 study regarding use of the pre-commercial monitor in laboratory and underground coal mine environments.

The MSHA plans to use the information to determine: How to best use the monitoring capability to improve protection from disabling occupational lung disease; the feasibility of more effective exposure monitoring given the availability of the device; and what regulatory and non-regulatory actions should be considered regarding the monitor's use.

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