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 journalArticle

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

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
Volume13
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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    Woskie, S. R., Smith, T. J., Hammond, K., Schenker, M. B., Garshick, E., & Speizer, F. E. (1988). Estimation of the diesel exhaust exposures of railroad workers: I. Current exposures. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 13(3), 381-394.