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ASSESSING AIR QUALITY IN NONROAD EQUIPMENT CABS
research addresses air quality inside the cabs of nonroad diesel equipment used
for highway maintenance and construction.
This is an important problem because the current number of nonroad
diesel equipment operators is expected to grow by 12% (faster than the national
average for other occupations) by 2026. This
research is significant because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies
indoor air quality as one of the five most urgent risks to public health. Given that equipment operators spend much of
their day inside the equipment cab, poor air quality may be a significant human
health issue. This research is also significant
because exposure to diesel exhaust is an important human health concern. EPA assessed the possible health hazards
associated with diesel exhaust exposure and concluded that there are effects
from short-term and/or acute exposures, as well as long-term chronic exposures,
including repeated occupational exposures.
Furthermore, nonroad equipment operates in a harsh environment including
temperature and humidity extremes, dusty conditions, and near a high pollution
source – the tailpipe of the equipment.
objective is to collect and analyze real-world data related to air quality in
nonroad diesel equipment cabs. The pollutants
to be assessed include particulate matter (PM), black carbon (BC), oxides of
nitrogen (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and carbon dioxide (CO2). Analysis will include determining
time-weighted averages (TWA) and short-term exposure limits (STEL) for each
pollutant that characterizes the air quality inside the equipment cab.
benefit of the research is to determine whether or not health risks related to air
quality exists for nonroad diesel equipment operators.
research is complementary to two research projects conducted at the Center for
Advancing Research in Transportation, Emissions, Energy, and Health
(CARTEEH). Results from these CARTEEH
projects revealed that nonroad equipment operators are almost always exposed to
varying concentrations of PM, BC, NOx, CO, and CO2. In a related study by researchers at Oklahoma
State University, findings showed that PM, NOx, CO, and CO2
were nearly always present in the equipment cab during operation. Furthermore, temperature and humidity
conditions frequently created cautionary heat index levels inside the equipment
cab, sometimes even during cooler winter months.
1. Conduct a review of current literature.
Identify the most frequently used types of
nonroad diesel equipment in public maintenance fleets.
Collect in-cab air quality data for each
pollutant from the most frequently used types of equipment.
Analyze the data to identify summary statistics,
time-weighed averages, and short-term exposure limits for each pollutant.
Compare the results to occupational health
standards to determine if a potential hazard exists.
<not yet addressed>
This research is appropriate for MS and PhD research.
|Sponsoring Committee:||AKR30, Maintenance Fleet and Equipment
|Research Period:||12 - 24 months|
|RNS Developer:||Phil Lewis, PhD, PE; Texas A&M University|
|Index Terms:|| |
Maintenance and Preservation
Safety and Human Factors
Vehicles and Equipment
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