Mining Publication: Mutagenicity of Diesel Exhaust Particles from an Engine with Differing Exhaust After Treatments
This study was conducted to investigate the effects of engine operating conditions and exhaust aftertreatments on the mutagenicity of diesel particulate matter (DPM) collected directly in an underground mine environment. A number of after-treatment devices are currently used on diesel engines in mines, but it is critical to determine whether reductions in DPM concentrations result in a corresponding decrease in adverse health effects. An eddy-current dynamometer was used to operate naturally aspirated mechanically controlled engine at several steady-state conditions. The samples were collected when the engine was equipped with a standard muffler, a diesel oxidation catalytic converter, two types of uncatalyzed diesel particulate filter systems, and three types of disposable diesel particulate filter elements. Bacterial gene mutation activity of DPM was tested on acetone extracts using the Ames Salmonella assay. The results indicated strong correlation between engine operating conditions and mutagenic activity of DPM. When the engine was fitted with muffler, the mutagenic activity was observed for the samples collected from light-load, but not heavy-load operating conditions. When the engine was equipped with a diesel oxidation catalyst, the samples did not exhibit mutagenic activity for any of four engine operating conditions. Mutagenic activity was observed for the samples collected when the engine was retrofitted with three types of disposable filters and sintered metal diesel particulate filter and operated at light load conditions. However, those filtration systems substantially reduced the concentration-normalized mutagenic activity from the levels observed for the muffler.