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MSHA reopens comment period for RFI on diesel exhaust

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Arlington, VA — The Mine Safety and Health Administration has reopened the comment period on a Request for Information on ways to monitor and regulate miner exposure to diesel exhaust in underground mines.

Research from NIOSH and the National Cancer Institute shows that exposure to diesel exhaust increases miners’ risk of dying from lung cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified diesel exhaust as a human carcinogen in 2012.

The initial RFI was published in June 2016. Feedback received during the initial comment period prompted MSHA and NIOSH to collaborate with the mining industry, diesel engine manufacturers, academia and representatives of organized labor to collect more information. MSHA previously reopened the comment period in January 2017.

Commenting has been reopened again in response to stakeholder requests, the agency states in a March 23 press release. Comments are due March 26, 2019.

MSHA issued a final rule limiting exposure of diesel particulate matter in underground coal mines in 2001. Five years later, it published a final rule on exposure to the matter in underground metal and non-metal mines.

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