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Retrospective Study of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Rule

Request for Information

May 1, 2014, MSHA published the final rule, “Lowering Miners' Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors” (Dust rule). In the preamble to the Dust rule, MSHA stated its intent to take the lead in conducting a retrospective study. MSHA published a Request for Information on July 9, 2018, to solicit stakeholder comments, data, and information on developing the framework for the retrospective study to assess the impact of the Dust rule. In addition, as part of MSHA’s ongoing effort to provide compliance and technical assistance to mine operators and miners, MSHA is also soliciting information and data on engineering controls and best practices that lower miners' exposure to respirable coal mine dust. On July 3, 2019, MSHA extended the comment period for the RFI until July 9, 2022. 

The purpose of the Dust rule is to reduce occupational lung diseases in coal miners. Chronic exposures to respirable coal mine dust cause lung diseases that can lead to permanent disability and death. The Dust rule improves health protection for coal miners by reducing their occupational exposure to respirable coal mine dust and by lowering the risk that they will suffer material impairment of health or functional capacity over their working lives.