Mining is a sensitive activity. This activity invariably involves environmental pollution. The mine dust can cause enormous health problems as well. People working in the mines do not have any escape. They have exposure to the dust on a perennial basis. They have protective equipment in the mines. However, you would find such protective equipment more suited to protect you from physical injury. As far as the ill effects of the dust chemical are concerned, the miners have to make do with simple protective gear such as facemasks etc. These masks can prove grossly inadequate on many occasions. There are obviously better methods of dust control. We shall examine some of them.

The effects of the dust pollution:

Before going into the details of the dust control methods, we shall examine the detrimental effect it can have on the miners as well as the people associated with them. Inhaling the dust chemical can be disastrous for anybody. These chemicals include lead, arsenic, manganese, iron, etc. The minute particles of these poisonous metals can lodge inside the lungs and cause tremendous respiratory problems. This could lead to serious disease such as silicosis and coal worker’s pneumoconiosis.
Methods to control the emission:

One of the best methods to stop the spread of the disease to people other than those working in the mines is to isolate them and relocate them to safe enclosures. In this manner, you would take care of a substantial number of people. That would now leave you with lesser number of people to help.

The mineworkers do not have any such option. However, you can introduce automatic machines that would do the dangerous work that men do today. You can use conveyor belts and automatic transportation systems to reduce the incidence of the dust pollution.

The transportation workers inhale the haul road dust in large numbers while transporting the materials from one place to another. The mine companies can provide them with adequate facemasks etc. The Government can play its part by improving the quality of the roads.

The mine companies can use the dust suppression techniques such as water sprays, use of chemical additives, etc to arrest the spread of the dust in the air. These methods are time-tested ones with a lot of success.

You would not be able to shift the mines. However, shifting the town would be easier. The Governments can help in this matter by enacting laws that there should not be any township near the mines.

As far as the interiors of the mines are concerned, the mine companies can install high-quality ventilation systems to take care of the dust. Treating the dust at the place of its origin is always better than allowing it to spread into the air. Water is the best way to make the dust particles settle to the ground.
Final thoughts:

The ill effects of the mines may be many. However, no one can deny its importance to the development of the nation. Hence, the dust control measures should be there in abundance.


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