Chemical characterization of PM10 and evaluation of health risk for the people residing around a highly mechanized opencast coal mine using FTIR spectroscopy

  • Tushar Ranjan DashEmail author
  • Debi Prasad Tripathy
  • Jai Krishna Pandey
Original Paper


Air pollution in opencast coal mine area is a very critical issue. The gradual increase in the demand of coal extrction leads to implementation of high mechanization techniques in most of the mines. Implementation of high mechanization techniques in mine produces huge quantities of PM (particulate matter), which disperse to the surrounding area of the mine and degrade the environment. Different mining activities like drilling, blasting, loading and unloading of coal and overburden material, transportation on haul road, etc. are the responsible sources of PM generation in the coal mine. Apart from these sources, local sources also have contributions to the total PM generation in the surrounding environment. Coal mine PM contains hundreds of chemicals which have adverse effects on human body and other animals also. The type of chemicals present in the PM depends with the change in the geographic location and method of extraction process. Quartz is a common mineral found in the atmospheric PM which has adverse effects on human body with inhalation. So many research works have been carried out on the characterization of PM to evaluate its risk on the human body. Measurement of quartz in the working area is also become a statutory need for all type of mines. The quartz present in the PM not only affects the health of the mine workers but also has evidenced to affect the people residing near to the mine area. The health effect of the PM depends on the type of chemical present. In this paper, an attempt has been made to measure the PM10 concentration around a high mechanized opencast coal mine in India, and the seasonal variations were studied. Characterization of the PM10 was also performed to find out the functional groups by using FTIR spectroscopic technique. The FTIR analysis showed the presence of hydroxyl, methyl, carboxylate, aldehyde, inorganic carbonate, sulfonate, etc. in the PM10 of the study area. Mineralogical study also was done along with the quantification of quartz in different seasons of the study period. Finally, the health risk was evaluated for the people residing near the mine area due to the presence of quartz in the respirable air. From FTIR studies, it was inferred that strong mineral band of quartz, kaolinite, sepiolite, cerussite, and nacrite was present at all the stations. The concentration of quartz in the study area was found above the prescribed limit (6 μg m−3) recommended by USEPA for healthy air to breath. The health risk assessment due to quartz in respirable air showed high level of risk in all the stations of the study area. Winter season was found to be the riskiest among all the seasons in the year in terms of the presence of quartz in respirable air. This study made is unique as it was done to evaluate the health risk for non-occupational people in the study area.


PM10 FTIR Quartz Mineral Health risk 


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mining EngineeringNational Institute of TechnologyRourkelaIndia
  2. 2.Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR)DhanbadIndia

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