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Relative health risks of diesel emission control systems.

Bagley ST; Gratz LD; Johnson JH
Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan 1995 Feb; :1-169
A study was conducted on the health risks of diesel emission control (DEC) systems by the evaluation of the effects of DEC devices on mine concentrations of diesel particulate matter (DPM) and the potential health related DPM constituents such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitro PAHs, solid fractions (SOL), and mutagenicity. Ambient air samples were collected in dieselized underground coal and metal mines with or without DEC devices, and DPM levels were determined by gravimetric analysis. SOL were extracted, quantified, and fractionated. Specific mutagenic and carcinogenic PAHs and nitro PAHs were quantified by high performance liquid chromatography and assayed for mutagenic activity using microbial test systems. Laboratory studies on DEC devices were also performed. In underground coal mines without DEC devices, the mean DPM levels ranged from 0.09 to 1.88mg/m3 and represented possible highest mine levels of DPM with operating diesel equipment. Up to 60% reductions in the concentrations of DPM, DPM components, and mutagenicity were found after the use of various DEC devices in underground mines. Controlled laboratory studies yielded similar results, with up to 99% reductions in DPM component concentrations and 75% reductions in mutagenicity when a low sulfur fuel was used. The composition and mutagenicity of diesel emissions were found to change depending on fuel type. The authors conclude that diesel engine design, operation, and maintenance, in addition to mine ventilation, air flow, and vehicle type can potentially affect DPM levels and health related components. The combination of well maintained and operated engines with sufficient air flow can substantially reduce diesel emissions, and the use of reformulated fuels and DEC devices can further reduce mine levels of DPM and DPM components.
NIOSH-Grant; Control-technology; Diesel-engines; Underground-mining; Diesel-emissions; Occupational-exposure; Coal-mining; Nitro-compounds; Microbial-test-systems; Polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbons; Airborne-particles
Biological Sciences Michigan Technological Univ. Dept. Biological Sciences Houghton, MI 49931
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Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan
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Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan
Page last reviewed: February 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division