Miners are exposed to dangerous conditions that range beyond ground fall, equipment accidents and explosions. Exposure to diesel particulate matter is associated with increases in lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, respiratory tract infections, asthma and cardiovascular disease.
With a $1.78 million grant from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, researchers at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health will seek to determine the extent to which using alternative fuel mixtures can reduce exposure to hazardous components of diesel engine exhaust in underground mines to reduce disease in miners.
The team will work with both an industry partner and the student-run UA San Xavier Underground Mining Laboratory, located 23 miles south of Tucson.
“Preventing and minimizing exposure to hazardous conditions in the workplace is critical to the health of our nation, said UA President Robert C. Robbins. “Translating scientific findings into prevention practices and products that effectively reduce work-related illnesses and injuries benefits everyone."