How Can You Recognize The Symptoms Of Diesel Exhaust Exposure At The Work Site?

Basically any diesel engine will create fumes that are unhealthy for people to breathe, and diesel engines are found all over the world. This means that diesel exhaust is basically everywhere, in urban and rural settings. However, diesel exhaust is found in greater quantities in settings where diesel engines are operated indoors. For example, firehouse garages can have higher concentrations of diesel exhaust than what is generally found in outdoor air.

If the exhaust removal system at a work site is not working properly, then the workers in those areas can be exposed to dangerously high levels of exhaust over a long period of time. If you work in an environment or manage a work site where diesel engines run on a regular basis, it's important to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of diesel exhaust exposure.

What are the symptoms of diesel exhaust exposure?

Symptoms of diesel exhaust exposure can look like a lot of other things. For example, some symptoms of exposure look like hay fever. However, diesel exhaust can affect different people in different ways, so it's important to take into consideration all of the symptoms of all the people exposed to the air at the work site, not just the symptoms of one or two people. The symptoms of diesel exhaust exposure include:

  • Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Increased allergies and sensitivity to dust and pollen
  • Increased asthma attacks
  • Chronic respiratory problems

If you happen to notice people in your work site are suffering from allergies, asthma and colds more often than they used to, this could be a symptom of diesel exhaust exposure.

Why are diesel fumes so dangerous?

Diesel exhaust contains many different kinds of chemicals, including carcinogens like benzene, arsenic and formaldehyde. Long-term exposure to diesel exhaust can cause deadly conditions like cancer.

What should you do if you believe your work site has unsafe levels of diesel exhaust?

If you believe that your work site has unsafe levels of diesel exhaust, it's important to have the air tested by an independent and reputable environmental lab. Contact an environmental lab in your area to find out how you can check the concentration of diesel exhaust in the air at your work place. At the same time, have the diesel exhaust removal system at your work site tested for functionality.

Once you know whether or not the workers at your site are being exposed to unsafe levels of diesel fumes, you can work to improve the diesel exhaust removal system.