NSW Government – Planning & Environment Resources Regulator – Standards for the reuse of removable exhaust filters on explosion-protected diesel engines

On the 05 September 2017, the NSW Government released a Safety Bulletin on the reuse of removable exhaust filters on explosion-protected diesel engines. The NSW Resources Regulator has become aware that services to clean, check and reuse removable diesel particulate exhaust filters (removable exhaust filters) on explosion-protected diesel engine systems (ExDES) that hold a registered design for use in underground coal mines are available.

There are risks and legislative compliance issues associated with cleaning and reusing removable exhaust filters on ExDES. Although not prohibited, cleaning and reusing removable exhaust filters must not produce additional hazards or affect engine safety performance of the ExDES. That is, the cleaned removable exhaust filter must not: increase the fire or explosion risk; reduce filter efficiency in diesel particulate capture; and release hazardous vapours or particles that may result in an increased risk to worker health.

United States Mine Safety & Health Administration – Establishing new health standards to manage DPM

On January 19, 2001, the United States Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) published a final rule addressing the health hazards to underground miners from exposure to diesel particulate matter (DPM). The rule established new health standards for these miners by requiring, among other things, mine operators to use engineering and work practice controls to reduce DPM. MSHA projected that the mining industry would meet the final concentration limit in their mines through the use of things such as diesel particulate filtration devices or ventilation changes.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Press Release

There has been mounting concern about the cancer-causing potential of diesel exhaust, particularly based on findings in epidemiological studies of workers exposed in various settings. This was re-emphasized by the publication in March 2012 of the results of a large US National Cancer Institute/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study of occupational exposure to such emissions in underground miners, which showed an increased risk of death from lung cancer in exposed workers (1).

‐‐ After a week-long meeting of international experts, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), today classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer. Lyon, France, June 12, 2012

NSW Government Primary Industries – Safety Bulletin, exposure standard of 0.1 mg/m3 & Guideline for the management of diesel engine pollutants in underground environments

On 2 February 2007 the NSW Department of Primary Industries issued a gazettal notice which picked up sections of their Mine Design Guideline (MDG29) and thus also picked up an 8 hour TWA exposure standard of 0.1 mg/m3 for NSW coal mines on the basis that compliance with such a value ‘should provide adequate protection against irritant effects and also minimise any risk of lung cancer’.

Guardian UK Article – Carcinogen

Diesel exhaust causes cancer, the World Health Organisation has declared, a ruling it said could make exhaust as important a public health threat as passive smoke. The risk of getting cancer from diesel fumes is small, but since so many people breathe in the fumes in some way, the WHO’s science panel said raising the status of diesel exhaust to carcinogen from “probable carcinogen” was an important shift.