MSHA Seeks Data on Controlling Exposures to Diesel Exhaust in Underground Mines

Published June 15, 2016

​Last week, MSHA published a request for information and data on approaches to control and monitor underground miners’ exposures to diesel exhaust. While MSHA’s data show that most of the permissible diesel-powered equipment used in these mines meets the federal agency’s requirements, MSHA is reviewing existing standards to ensure it is properly protecting miners’ health. In June 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified diesel exhaust as carcinogenic to humans. IARC’s classification (PDF) is based on sufficient evidence that exposure to diesel engine exhaust is associated with increased lung cancer risk.

MSHA seeks information regarding non-permissible, light-duty, diesel-powered equipment in underground coal mines, and the maintenance of diesel-powered equipment in underground coal mines and recordkeeping requirements. The agency also hopes to review information related to exhaust after-treatment and engine technologies, the monitoring of metal and nonmetal (MNM) miners' exposures to diesel particulate matter (DPM), and the DPM exposure limit for MNM miners.

Comments are due by Sept. 1, 2016. See the Federal Register notice for further details and instructions on submitting comments.