The Health Effects of Diesel Exhaust Emissions
When working with electronics, oils, anything that creates volatile organic compounds or chemicals, safety via a solder fume extraction system is the top priority. However, there are several diesel exhaust emissions that cause health hazards.
As a company, you should be aware of this. That way you can protect your team while properly performing any task at hand. In this article, let’s talk about occupational diesel exhaust hazards and how to reduce them.
What Is Diesel Exhaust?
Diesel exhaust is created when diesel fuel is burned. The exhaust itself is a mixture of several substances like particulates, aerosols, vapors, gasses, and more. Diesel exhaust can be both visible as black smoke or sometimes invisible.
Diesel Exhaust Emission Quantity And Composition
The quantity and composition of diesel exhaust emissions depend on a variety of factors:
- Composition of the fuel
- The type of engine used
- The temperature of the engine
- Tuning and maintenance performed
- The workload
- Colder temperatures outdoors can affect exhaust and the breathing zone.
What Are The Harms Of Diesel Exhaust Fumes?
When inhaled, diesel engine exhaust contains particulate matter. These fine and ultra-fine particles are not filtered out by our respiratory defense systems. Therefore, these go deeply inside the lungs.
While soot on the faces may be a visible sign, there are many internal mechanisms which are damaging to the respiratory system.
Diesel Exhaust Health Hazards
Let’s talk about two types of exposure, short-term and long-term, of diesel exhaust and emissions.
With short-term diesel exhaust exposure, irritation and coughing of the eyes, nose, throat, respiratory tract can happen. Mild headaches can occur. Lung irritation and allergic reactions such as asthma can also happen due to exhaust exposure.
If someone has pre-existing conditions, these may worsen. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies diesel engine exhaust as a group one carcinogen for human beings.
In addition to the short-term symptoms, long-term exposure also causes even worse effects. Lung cancer and even bladder cancer can be caused by long-term diesel fume exposure. Bronchitis, pulmonary disease, and asthma are other consequences.
Who Is At Risk For Diesel Exhaust Hazards?
Anyone who is working around diesel-powered vehicles is at risk. This includes construction yards, buses, trucks, and locomotives.
Warehouses, garages, loading zones, ferries and ships, mines, and workers in other places where generators that are powered by diesel are also exposed to exhaust levels. Additionally, police officers, farm workers, airline crew, and dock workers are at high risk.
How To Reduce Exhaust Hazards In Your Workplace
So, is diesel exhaust harmful to humans? Yes it is. Using a quality fume extraction system from IP Systems USA, you can protect your workers during any kind of project. Don’t allow carcinogens or fumes from burn off to create health hazards any longer.
Contain the fumes with peace of mind and efficiency. That way you can adhere to OSHA and also perform work at the highest quality level possible.