Diesel Particulate Matter
Diesel Particulate Matter
DPM is a known occupational hazard to workers operating diesel-powered equipment. DPM refers to the fine carbon particles or “soot” in diesel exhaust that can penetrate deep into the lungs and pose serious health risks.
Exposure to DPM has been linked with various acute short-term symptoms such as headaches, nausea, coughing, difficult or laboured breathing, and irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Long-term exposure can lead to chronic, more serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease and cardiopulmonary disease. In 1998 the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in the USA formally suggested a link between occupational exposure to diesel particulate and lung cancer. DPM can also act as a carrier for potentially harmful organic components.
In recent years statutory authorities have begun to recommend or require occupational workplace and environmental exposure limits and control strategies.
The QLD Department of Mines and Energy - Simtars Unit conducted a DPM survey in early 2005 and recommended further monitoring to better define exposure profiles across different mining site work groups.
In WA the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection - Resources Safety Unit added DPM to the CONTAM atmospheric contaminants list and has included sampling in underground mine CONTAM quotas since late 2005-06.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries released a draft guideline for underground environments towards the end of 2006.
An exposure standard of 0.1 mg/m3 measured as elemental carbon (based on a publication in 2004 from the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH)) is now generally accepted, using the NIOSH 5040 analytical method.
MPL Laboratories continues to provide high quality solutions across an extensive range of services. We pride ourselves on acquiring the latest technology to perform timely, reliable and cost effective analyses for clients.
As of February 2008 MPL was the first laboratory in Australia to hold NATA accreditation for the analysis of diesel particulates, as elemental carbon, by thermal optical analyser in accordance with NIOSH 5040. This falls under NATA Chemical Testing Class 7.82, Workplace environment and hazards, sub-class .22, Diesel particulates.
If DPM has been included in your CONTAM quota or you have or want to commence a monitoring program, MPL can help you satisfy your testing requirements.
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