Diesel fuel powered engines are efficient and powerful but have created pollution problems around the globe. Hundreds of studies, starting with the NIOSH Current Intelligence Bulletin 50 published in 1987, have long documented the hazards of diesel exhaust and its suspected carcinogenic effects. The United States EPA, as part of The Clean Air Act, requires manufactures of diesel powered engines to reduce particulate emissions to 2.5 pm starting in 2007. This initiative was created to improve the air quality in metro cities and highly trafficked areas.
The EPA revealed the effects diesel particulate had in urban areas, especially heavily trafficked cities with diesel powered transportation (train, tractors, heavy equipment, generators e.t.c.). These areas showed a correlation in increased cancers, asthma and lung disease that could be attributed to diesel particulate. The World Health Organization has also classified diesel exhaust as a known carcinogen.
Since 2007 diesel powered equipment is outfitted with a diesel particulate filtration (DPF) system to comply with new emission standards. These systems are designed to reduce diesel particulate by filtering the exhaust. Filtration is nothing more than a controlled leak. Larger particulates are captured in the filter while finer particulates and gases pass through. The filters are cleaned by a regeneration process in which filters are heated up to approximately 1,200 F to burn off the particulate that’s accumulated on the filter. These filtration products are good for reducing the particulate levels outdoors to improve the air quality we breathe outside in our communities and cities. But what about indoors?
More studies are being conducted on the hazards of finer diesel particulates that pass through the filter and the elevated concentrations of gases as particulates are burned off the filter. One thing that has not changed is that diesel exhaust is still a known carcinogen and firefighters are one industry that have the highest cancer statistics. These filters were designed to reduce particulate matter we have outdoors, and not to address the issue of indoor air quality problems associated with diesel particulates in firehouses or maintenance and repair shops. Studies prove smaller particulates present a greater risk because of its ability to penetrate the alveoli cavity of the lung. Some argue these filters have created a false sense of security while actually creating greater risk.
Service centers, fleet maintenance repair shops, firehouses and EMS facilities are the most common industries we serve providing products to protect against diesel exhaust exposure. International Mechanical Codes requires source capture systems to connect directly to the tailpipes and exhaust the contaminate directly outdoors in addition to exhaust .75 CFM per square foot of floor space for general ventilation. Some of the most common products we offer for vehicle exhaust applications include;
- Spring operated hose reels
- Motorized hose reel
- Simple exhaust drops
- Emergency Service Exhaust System