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Researchers Conduct Walk-Throughs at Iron Range Sites

taconite site visit

Pictured from left to right: Gurumurthy Ramachandran, Pete Raynor and Jooyeon Hwang

(January 16, 2009) — On January 12-13, 2009, Ph.D. student Jooyeon Hwang and faculty members Gurumurthy Ramachandran and Pete Raynor from the Division of Environmental Health Sciences visited Cliffs Natural Resources' United Taconite mine in Eveleth, MN and processing facility in nearby Forbes, MN to conduct a walk-through survey of particle levels and engineering controls at the sites.

The purpose of the walk-through was to help select areas for more rigorous measurements of particle exposures and to pinpoint where the dustiest processes in the facilities are located. At various spots throughout the facilities, the number and mass concentrations of particles and their size distributions were measured using state-of-the-art, real-time instruments.

The goals of the study are to gain a more complete understanding of the dust exposure levels workers are currently experiencing and to define how effective existing control measures are in protecting the workers.