NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Airport "checked baggage" screener exposure to internal combustion engine exhaust products.

Methner M; Delaney L
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 21-26, 2005, Anaheim, California. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2005 May; :60
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requested the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to evaluate airport "checked baggage" screeners' exposure to diesel particulate matter (DPM), carbon monoxide (CO), nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide and other products of combustion. Exposures were believed related to internal combustion baggage tug engines operating near the screeners. Four international airports (Palm Beach, Miami, Baltimore-Washington, and Dulles) were selected for air monitoring studies. The selection criteria included the following: 1) prior complaints from TSA workers regarding exhaust emissions; and 2) the location and arrangement of the check baggage stations (open verses enclosed screening areas). Each airport study was designed to collect the same information so that air monitoring data could be compared across airports. Personal breathing-zone (PBZ) and ambient air samples were collected and analyzed in accordance with appropriate NIOSH methods. All PBZ measurements were compared to their respective occupational exposure limits (OELs). No respiratory protection was worn by any worker in any of the airports studied. Only 2 of the 72 (3%) DPM samples exceeded 20 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3), (the former ACGIH exposure limit and the current California limit for DPM). Average DPM values ranged from 6-14 ug/m3. Average CO levels ranged from 0.6 to 5.3 parts per million (ppm), well below the NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit of 35 ppm. Samples collected for other substances of interest ranged from very low to non-detectable. Exhaust emission testing on tugs at two airports found high levels of hydrocarbons and CO which was related to poor maintenance.
Airports; Airport-personnel; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-levels; Diesel-exhausts; Diesel-emissions; Diesel-engines; Air-monitoring; Air-sampling; Air-samples; Breathing-zone; Exposure-limits; Hydrocarbons; Particulates; Particulate-dust; Aerosols; Aerosol-particles
630-08-0; 10102-43-9; 10102-44-0
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 21-26, 2005, Anaheim, California
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division