Data on preliminary dust exposure assessment ,its composition, and health implications for workers in the artisanal and small-scale Tanzanite mining industry in Mererani, Tanzania

Published: 24 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/pkfczx2xzd.1
, asha ripanda,
, Mwemezi Rwiza


The mining industry, specifically artisanal and small-scale, is characterized by labour-intensive and may pose health risks. This study is designed to investigate the amount of total dust exposure to underground mine workers in Mererani, Tanzania, its composition, and related health implications for informed management strategies.


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Sample collection Dust samples were collected in different underground mining zones categorized based on operations (drilling and blasting, loading, underground resting, servicing utilities between 60m and 100m area). Sampling was done by Analytical Air Monitoring System (AMS) model 17ACC2TH-003, as previously reported [27], which was mounted and running in selected areas operated at average sampling flow rate of 17.0 l/min. Sample was collected in May 2020, sampling started instantly as operations in the mines was initiated, as conducted by previous researchers [28, 29]. For the case of this study, dust particulates that have aerodynamic diameters less than 10 µm (2.5 µm to 10 µm) was collected on PTFE membrane filters with 2.5 µm pore size (PM2.5). The dust samples were properly handled and stored before transported to the laboratory for the analysis. Analysis of respirable dust samples were quantified by gravimetric analysis at Tanzanite Stop Centre in Mererani using a professional analytical balance, a Mettler AT 261 Delta Range, with an accuracy of 0.05 mg, as reported by previous researchers [30]. Futher the composition of dust samples were investigated using Argentometric method, Spectrophotometry and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) Technique. Data analysis The average dust loading at standard conditions was measured in each sampling station. The total dust exposure on each sampling station was calculated at different exposure periods of 3, 5 and 8 hours. There were three different breathing rates defined as normal with air inhalation rate of 1.2m3/h, moderate rate 1.305m3/h and high breathing rate with 2.58m3/h, and dust exposure was also determined by considering these different human breathing conditions. The mean values of dust loading at different breathing rates and exposure periods have been used for analysis with 95% confidence interval using MINITAB 19 software. The MINITAB software used to generate analysis of variance (ANOVA) for determination of differences in dust exposure between sampling stations and exposure periods, as previously reported [31, 32].


Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Primary Data


Tanzania Government

Ministry of Minerals, MSc 2019