Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issues alert to control the health hazards brought about by diesel exhaust and diesel particulate matter. The exhaust from diesel engines contains a mixture of gases and very small particles that can be dangerous to anyone exposed.
No doubt about it, diesel is a necessity. It provides power to a wide variety of vehicles, heavy equipment, and other machinery used in a large number of industries. But when improperly controlled, it creates a health hazard.
A majority of truck drivers are affected with exhaust exposure. This is because most heavy-and medium-duty trucks are equipped with diesel engines. Other workers include miners, construction workers, heavy equipment operators, bridge and tunnel workers, railroad workers, oil and gas workers, loading dock workers, material handling operators, farmworkers, long-shoring workers, and auto, truck and bus maintenance garage workers.
Health effects include headache, dizziness, and irritation of the eye, nose and throat; but for prolonged exposure, the risk of cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary and respiratory disease and lung cancer increases.
OSHA says aside from engineering controls, there are administrative controls that can reduce the haxard. See below:
•Using one-way travel routes to minimize traffic congestion
•Prohibiting and/or restricting unnecessary idling or lugging of engines.
See full list at J.J. Keller