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ArticleName Pneumoconiosis prevention and personal protective equipment
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2022.08.10
ArticleAuthor Kaptsov V. A., Chirkin A. V.

All-Russian Research Institute of Railway Hygiene, Rospotrebnadzor, Moscow, Russia:

V. A. Kaptsov, Head of Department, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences,


Beta PRO LLC, Moscow, Russia:
A. V. Chirkin, Worker


Inhalation of mineral dust increases the risk of pneumoconiosis which is an incurable and irreversible occupational disease. If the concentration of fibrogenic dust significantly exceeds the occupational exposure limit (OEL), the risk of pneumoconiosis becomes unacceptably high. The disease prevention involves the use of the collective prevention equipment and medical control. If these measures are insufficient, the respiratory protective devices are used. But respirators lack reliability. For example, pneumoconiosis (the initial stages of the disease) was found in a miner who had worked in the mine for only about six months. The miners cannot use respirators for a long time: they complicate communication during work and excessively impair gas exchange when breathing. The average concentration of carbon dioxide in the air inhaled from a respirator mask may exceed the maximal allowable concentration (MAC) set for the working space air by more than 2 times. The article provides a brief overview of improving respiratory protective equipment (RPE) in the United States: development of different Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR); implementation of a personal dust monitor for measuring the dust concentration in real time. PAPR improve gas exchange during breathing and reduce the risk of unfiltered air leakage through gaps in facial contact areas. The effectiveness of the collective prevention equipment depends on many factors. It can be significantly increased via efficient monitoring of dust concentration in the breathing zone of a miner. Russian MAC on air dustiness create favorable conditions for the development of personal dust meters for determining dust concentration in real time. The article provides recommendations for improving dust protection of miners with regard to the international experience.
The study was carried out without support. The authors declare no conflicts of interests.

keywords Pneumoconiosis, dust, respirator, RPE, working conditions, carbon dioxide impact, dust meter, sampling pump

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