Ontario Construction Workers Exposed to Dangerous Levels of Diesel Engine Exhaust: Report
Looking at 149 samples of elemental carbon (EC) – a surrogate for DEE exposure – the researchers found that 90.6% exceeded the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH) recommendation (5 µg m- 3 CE breathable).
Meanwhile, 41.6 percent exceeded the Dutch Committee of Experts on Occupational Safety (DECOS) limit (1.03 µg m-3 respirable EC). Underground workers (13.20 µg m-3 on average) had exposures approximately four times higher than underground workers (3.56 µg m-3 on average) and nine times higher than surface workers (1.49 µg m-3 on average).
During this time, training facility exposures were similar to surface workers (1.86 µg m-3 on average), but exposures were highly variable.
The workplace and enclosed cabins were identified as the main determinants of exposure in the final model, and the highest DEE exposures were observed in underground workplaces and when using unopened cabins. closed.
“Most exposures were above recommended health limits, although in other jurisdictions, which means there is a need to further reduce DEE levels in construction,” the report said. “These findings may inform a risk reduction strategy, including targeted intervention/control measures to reduce DEE exposure and occupational lung cancer burden.”