Dust and Respiratory Health Program

The Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre (MISHC) Dust  and Respiratory Health Program is committed to the study of dust and particulates and their correlation with occupational lung diseases.  This work with dust and other aerosols and their role in respiratory diseases is indispensable for safeguarding worker health and well-being.

Through this research, we gain crucial insights into the hazards posed by these particles, develop effective prevention strategies, establish the science to inform regulations, and adopt new technologies. By prioritising the study of dust and particulates, we pave the way for safer working conditions, minimizing the risk of occupational lung diseases and ensuring the continued health of workers across various industries.

Dust and particulates, when inhaled, can lead to a variety of occupational lung diseases and mine dust lung diseases such as silicosis, coal workers' pneumoconiosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and occupational asthma. These conditions not only compromise the affected individuals' quality of life but can also be life-threatening. By studying these hazards, we can identify the exposures, inform other researchers involved in the mechanisms behind the diseases, and establish effective preventive strategies. This research empowers employers and workers to take necessary precautions, minimize exposure, and safeguard their well-being.

Knowledge about dust and particulates aids in the development and enhancement of prevention and control measures. Researchers can identify the characteristics of different types of dust, enabling the implementation of engineering controls like ventilation systems. Additionally, appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as respirators, can be employed. Furthermore, work practices can be adjusted to minimize dust generation and exposure. This comprehensive approach helps in reducing the risk of occupational lung diseases and promotes a safer workplace.

The group is also identifying of emerging risks associated with new materials and processes in various industries. As industries evolve, new hazards may arise. By researching these risks, we can stay ahead of the curve and adopt new technologies and control measures to counter these emerging threats. This proactive approach ensures that workers are protected from evolving dangers and enables industries to adapt and maintain high standards of safety.

Program Leader

Research Fellow Nikky LaBranche

Contact: n.labranche@uq.edu.au


Related documents

​Prospectus for the Characterisation ​of Airborne Particulates

Download (PDF, 1.4 MB)

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