UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Characterization of Respirable Dust Generated from Full Scale Cutting Tests in Limestone with Conical Picks at Three Stages of Wear Slouka, Syd; Brune, Jürgen; Rostami, Jamal; Tsai, Candace; Sidrow, Evan


Respirable rock dust poses serious long-term health complications to workers in environments where mechanical rock excavation is utilized. The purpose of this study is to characterize respirable dust generated by cutting limestone with new, partially worn, and fully worn conical pick wears. Characterizing limestone respirable dust can aid in decision making for respirable dust suppression levels and exposures throughout the lifetime of a pick in underground mining and engineering activities. The methods include full scale cutting of a limestone sample in the laboratory with three conical picks at different stages of wear. Dust samples were collected during cutting with various instruments connected to pumps and subsequently analyzed to determine the concentrations, mineralogy, particle shapes, and particle size distributions. The results show that the worn pick generated the highest concentration of dust, all picks generated dust containing quartz, all three picks generated dust particles of similar shapes, and all three picks generated various particle size distributions. In conclusion, a preliminary suite of respirable dust characteristics is available and with further future additional studies, results could be used for the evaluation of possible strategies and methods of dust suppression and exposures during mining, tunneling, or drilling activities.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


CC BY 4.0