Date of Award

Fall 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

MS Industrial Hygiene


Industrial Hygiene

Committee Chair

Julie Hart

First Advisor

Terry Spear

Second Advisor

Abhishek Choudhury


Exposure to diesel exhaust, as well as the diesel particulate matter associated with the exhaust has shown to cause adverse health effect in humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified diesel exhaust as a group 1 human carcinogen, in June of 2012. Due to these health effects, there has been an effort in the mining industry to reduce the amount of worker exposure to diesel exhaust. Biodiesel has shown to be a promising control to reduce diesel particulate matter that is emitted during the combustion process. The use of a biodiesel blend over straight petroleum diesel has shown to reduce particulate matter, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide emissions.

This study is a sub-component of a larger collaborative project that was set to research diesel exhaust exposure, associated with the use of biodiesel, in an underground metal mine in the North West United States. Samples were collected in an underground metal mine to evaluate and compare two DPM sampling strategies. The objective this research was to evaluate the potential correlation of particle mass concentrations obtained with direct reading instrumentation vs. with biodiesel DPM concentrations reported through integrated sampling methods.

Samples were taken on four separate four day campaigns during the months of March, June, August and October of 2014. Area samples were taken from 6 different locations throughout the mine. Integrated sampling was performed in accordance with the NIOSH 5040 Method, as well as sampling via direct reading monitors. Statistical analysis of the results of these two methods was done using Minitab 17 Software. The results suggest that a strong correlation (cc = 0.615, 0.573) exists between integrated organic and total carbon (respectively) vs. DustTrak direct reading particle mass concentration when measuring biodiesel particulate matter.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Science in Industrial Hygiene Montana Tech 2015