Solutions for preventing black lung disease in mining

Prevention is better than cure, because there simply is no cure

Dust Suppression

The world breathed a collective sigh of relief twenty years ago when the dreaded black lung disease was thought to have been eradicated once and for all.

However, this occupational lung disease – known more formally as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis – is back, and steps must be taken immediately to prevent its spread.

Black lung disease is a chronic occupational lung disease. It is irreversible; there is no treatment and it can never be cured.

This severe respiratory disease is caused by the inhalation and deposition of coal dust in the lung. The finer the coal dust, the bigger the risk for mine workers.

Miners exposed to it for prolonged periods experience shortness of breath and a chronic cough, leading to high blood pressure, heart problems, an increased likelihood of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and eventually premature death.

The only cause of black lung disease is excessive inhalation of coal dust. That is why underground roads – being closer to the source of the dust – have become a primary concern.

Free Comparision Guide: Dust Suppression vs Dust Prevention


What can be done to prevent black lung disease?

Dust-A-Side has developed several dust control solutions and products which effectively suppress respirable dust particles in mines.

For mines concerned with excessive dust levels, the first thing Dust-A-Side does is to analyse the mine’s needs using a 3 Step Process:

  1. Conduct site and system survey to identify the mine’s source of dust and its impact
  2. Soil and water samples collected and tested at Dust-A-Side laboratories. A detailed technical report is generated and shared with relevant stakeholders
  3. Design and presentation of a fit for purpose tailored ‘turnkey’ engineering solution.

This solution could also include training of key personnel, to ensure the on-going success of the dust-suppression program.

Dust-A-Side’s engineering team will also provide continual monitoring and reporting to ensure that there is no deviation from the scope and all documented performance targets are met.

This high-tech cross-checking would incorporate static and mobile dust monitoring, live online telemetry to maintain product stock levels, and DASMetrics – a live, web-based software system that lets users visualise the road network, record defects, schedule remediation works and more.


Free underground roads onsite inspection

As part of Dust-A-Side’s commitment to optimising safety in underground mines, we offer all mines a 100% obligation-free onsite inspection.

To arrange an onsite inspection, speak to a member of our engineering team today on +27 12 648 8900 or click here to contact us.



Low pressure prevention, or high pressure suppression