Estimation of the diesel exhaust exposures of railroad workers: I. Current exposures

S. R. Woskie, T. J. Smith, K. Hammond, Marc B Schenker, E. Garshick, F. E. Speizer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


As a part of a series of epidemiological studies of railroad workers, measurements were made to characterize workers' exposures to diesel exhaust. Since diesel exhaust is not a single compound, an exposure marker was sought. The personal exposures to respirable particulate matter (RPM) of over 530 workers in 39 common jobs were measured in four U.S. railroads over a three-year period. Significant amounts of cigarette smoke (20-90%) were found in many of these samples. Therefore, the respirable particulate concentration, adjusted to remove the fraction of cigarette smoke (ARP), was chosen as a marker of diesel exhaust exposures. The geometric mean exposures to ARP ranged from 17 μg/m3 for clerks to 134 μg/m3 for locomotive shop workers. Significant interrailroad variations were observed in some job groups indicating that the different facilities, equipment, and work practices found among the railroads can affect a worker's exposure to diesel exhaust. Climate was also found to have a significant effect on exposure in some job groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-394
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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