This primer details the concepts of air sampling methodology that are used to describe or estimate personal exposures to chemical contaminants in mining. Air sampling is used to estimate the worker's potential exposure via the inhalation route of exposure.
Air sampling methods are available for a variety of contaminant types such as particulates (e.g., dusts, fumes, radiological particles, diesel exhaust, etc.), aerosols (e.g., acid mists, liquid chemical droplets, etc.), vapor (e.g., acid vapors, volatile chemicals, etc.), and gases (e.g., carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, etc.). Measurements for chemical contaminants can be mathematically adjusted to compare directly with MSHA regulations and industry recommended guidelines.
Each topic within this module builds upon the previous to provide a step-by-step instruction on the methodology of air sampling to estimate personal exposures and to how to compare these results with regulatory standards and guidance. This primer on air sampling includes the following sections: