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

Amartanshu Srivastava, Ambasht Kumar, Kumar Vaibhav, Suresh Pandian Elumalai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Environmental Science(all)


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