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Inhalable particulate (PM10) emission externalities from overburden dumps and associated health risk assessment in densely populated coalfield

Abstract

Overburden (OB) dumps and associated haulage are the significant contributors to increased respirable particulate levels in mining areas. Earlier studies have only focused on reporting seasonal variation of size-segregated particle mass concentration, limiting the role of specific emission sources on sensitive receptors nearby. This study estimated the impact of OB dump expansion (between years 2016 and 2018) with associated haulage on spatial pattern of particulate concentration, associated health effects, and health cost. Furthermore, a model to identify critical health risk zones was also developed. Haulage of OB and its unloading contributed to a significant increase in particulate concentration on the windward side. Moreover, OB dumping resulted in a higher respiratory dose for workers and inhabitants nearby the OB dumpsite. The results indicated that coughing along with lower respiratory problems were the dominant health effects. Moreover, the cases of lower respiratory symptoms due to PM10 emissions from OB dumps increased in 2018. The risk potential model indicated a 4.9% increase in high risk category for the population exposed to PM10 emission from OB expansion within two years. An alternative management option was proposed to reduce health risk potential. The control resulted in 73% peak concentration curtailment and 84% reduction in the surface area exceeding prescribed PM10 (100 µg/m3) levels. The said study will be useful in demarcating risk zones and findings have particular significance for dispersion of particulates emanating from OB dumps.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the support and guidance provided by the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, India, Bharat Coking Coal Limited, Dhanbad and Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, RI-II, Dhanbad for carrying out the research work. The authors express their courtesy to National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and National Centres for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) for providing web-based resources for WRF, FNL data, etc. The authors also extend sincere thanks to Urban Development and Housing Department, Jharkhand for providing relevant data. The authors express deep gratitude to the constructive suggestions of the anonymous reviewers that helped the authors improve the manuscript's quality. This research did not receive any specific grant or funding from any agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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This research did not receive any specific grant or funding from any agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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AS: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Software, Writing—original draft. AK: Investigation, Validation, Formal Analysis, Writing – review & editing. KV: Resources, Software, Visualization, Validation. SPE: Conceptualization, Investigation, Resources, Supervision, Writing—review & editing.

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Correspondence to Suresh Pandian Elumalai.

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Srivastava, A., Kumar, A., Vaibhav, K. et al. Inhalable particulate (PM10) emission externalities from overburden dumps and associated health risk assessment in densely populated coalfield. Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00477-021-02117-7

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Keywords

  • Exposure
  • Overburden dump
  • Dispersion modeling
  • Health risk
  • Land use