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U.S. Bureau of Mines updates its diesel research activities.
Waytulonis RW; Cantrell BK
Min Eng 1993 Aug; 45(8):1028-1031
Miners working in underground mines where diesel equipment is used are exposed to exhaust pollutants. These include carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), hundreds of different hydrocarbons (HC) and particulate matter. Evidence from animal inhalation studies and limited epidemiological investigations have led the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to recommend that " whole diesel exhaust be regarded as a potential occupational carcinogen ." NIOSH further stated that the excess cancer risk for workers exposed to diesel exhaust has not yet been quantified, but the probability of developing cancer should be decreased by minimizing exposure. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reached a similar conclusion, saying that "diesel engine exhaust is probably carcinogenic to humans." Before these declarations, there was insufficient evidence concerning the carcinogenicity of diesel exhaust. It was well known, though, that diesel exhaust caused less severe problems, such as headache, eye irritation and unpleasant odors. In 1988, a milestone was reached in the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) regulatory process. An advisory committee recommended a three-tier approach to regulating diesels used underground - approval of diesel equipment, safety and health. Diesel particulate matter may be specifically regulated, In addition, ambient air quality standards are being proposed that will establish a new standard for CO2 and lower the permissible exposure limits for the NO2, CO, SO2 and formaldehyde emissions that originate from diesels and other sources. Additional safety and emission restrictions are al so proposed for diesel engines in coal mines.
Hydrocarbons; Dust-particles; Dust-exposure; Particulate-dust; Respirable-dust; Diesel-emissions; Diesel-exhausts; Mine-workers; Mineral-processing; Miners; Mining-industry; Mining-equipment; Underground-mining; Underground-miners
630-08-0; 124-38-9; 10102-43-9; 10102-44-0; 7446-09-5
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Page last reviewed: November 12, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division