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Fire Fighters in Puerto Rico Advised of Potential Diesel Exhaust Exposure Hazards

Zimmetry Environmental provides air testing and monitoring services to identify potential occupational respiratory hazards throughout the Caribbean.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

Due to their microscopic size, diesel exhaust particulate matter can be inhaled deeply into the lungs and even into the bloodstream.

In February of 2017, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) that has garnered the attention of fire fighters in Puerto Rico and across the nation. The HHE was initiated after the program received a request from the chief at a fire department with two stations. The chief was concerned about fire fighters’ exposure to diesel exhaust in the living quarters of their stations.
HHE Report No. 2016-0094-3267 states: We evaluated diesel exhaust exposures at two fire stations. We measured substances that are present in diesel exhaust in the living quarters of both fire stations. We found low levels of diesel exhaust in all sampled areas of the two fire stations, with levels highest in the apparatus bay and living quarters of the larger of the two fire stations. At both stations we found that air flowed from the apparatus bays into the living quarters.
Exposure to diesel exhaust is concern due to its complex mixture of various gases and fine particles that contain more than 40 toxic compounds according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The gases include hydrocarbons and oxides of carbon, sulfur and nitrogen. The particles mainly consist of organic carbon compounds adsorbed onto cores of microscopic elemental carbon. More than 95% of these particles are less than 1 micrometer in size and are respirable.
“Due to their microscopic size, diesel exhaust particulate matter can be inhaled deeply into the lungs and even into the bloodstream,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “Short term exposure to high concentrations of diesel particulate matter and diesel exhaust can cause headaches, dizziness and irritation of the eye, nose and throat severe enough to distract or disable workers. Prolonged exposure can increase the risk of cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary and respiratory diseases, as well as lung cancer.”
Helping to identify diesel exhaust pollutants and other respirable hazards in fire stations across Puerto Rico and the rest of the Caribbean are the indoor environmental quality experts at Zimmetry Environmental. Their industrial hygiene professionals can identify diesel exhaust and particulate matter to help ensure that it is not infiltrating buildings and creating exposure risks and health concerns. Zimmetry has even sponsored an educational video about diesel exhaust, particulate matter and air quality issues that can be seen at:
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their air, industrial hygiene, environmental and compliance consulting services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies.  The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America.  The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.

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 Puerto Rico
 Fire Fighters
 Industrial Hygiene

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