Montana Tech Team Awarded David L. Swift Award for Best Aerosol-Related Paper Published in 2018


Montana Tech team presented with David Swift AwardMontana Tech’s Dr. Julie F. Hart, Safety, Health & Industrial Hygiene Department Head and Professor; Dr. Daniel A. Autenrieth, Safety, Health & Industrial Hygiene Assistant Professor; Dr. Terry M. Spear, Safety, Health & Industrial Hygiene Professor Emeritus; Siobhan Wock, Industrial Hygiene graduate student; and Scott Rosenthal, Mining Engineering Department Head and Associate Professor; along with Drs. Emanuele Cauda and Lauren Chubb, researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Mining Research Division have been awarded the David L. Swift Award for the best aerosol-related paper published in 2018.

The team received the award for their excellence in aerosol research applied to industrial hygiene as demonstrated in their paper, A comparison of respirable crystalline silica concentration measurements using a direct-on-filter Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) transmission method vs. a traditional laboratory X-ray diffraction method. The paper was published in the Journal of Occupational and Industrial Hygiene in October, 2018.

Silicosis, a form of pulmonary fibrosis, is caused by the inhalation and subsequent deposition of respirable crystalline silica in the lung. Accurate and timely assessment of airborne silica concentrations is critical in mining industries. Current commercially available technologies for crystalline silica air monitoring rely on laboratory-based analytical techniques with laboratory turn-around times of several days to weeks. This research demonstrated the application of a Fourier transform infrared technique that allows for direct end-of-shift analysis of filters, substantially decreasing analytical delays associated with current integrated crystalline silica analyses, and thus improving the application of appropriate industrial hygiene control strategies and worker protection measures.

The award was presented to the team at the national American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Exposition (AIHce) in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 21, 2019.