The 3 year Reducing risks from Occupational exposure to Coal Dust (ROCD) project finished in September 2020. The results and developed resources are now available at the ROCD website.
The ROCD project has provided a modern reassessment of the nature and toxicity of coal dust PM10, PM4 and, for the first time in a major European study, PM2.5 which may be contributing to cardiovascular as well as respiratory diseases in miners. In addition, it has resulted in the development of a particle size separation device for the study of different fractions of inhalable coal dusts, a new methodology for assessing their mineralogical composition, two new monitoring and two new dust control devices, and a new protocol for the testing of dust masks.
The ROCD website contains data on the nature and toxicity of coal dusts, a new predictive algorithm for dust concentrations at different locations within a mine, links to e-training materials for best practice in the use of dust control systems and respiratory protective masks, and downloadable posters and infographics for mines, schools and researchers. You can also download a ‘serious game’ app for Android which was designed to promote the wearing of dust masks underground, search for ROCD Miner on Play Store.
It is hoped that these resources will help reduce worldwide incidences of coal mine dust-related diseases.
The ROCD project was funded by the European Commission Research Fund for Coal and Steel, Grant Number 754205.
Associate Professor in Applied Mineralogy
University of Exeter