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NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation of Diesel Exhaust in Fire Stations

EMSL Analytical provides testing services, sampling supplies and monitoring instruments to identify diesel exhaust, particulate matter and other pollutants.

Cinnaminson, NJ – WEBWIRE

Just over a year ago, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) evaluating diesel exhaust exposure at two fire stations. HHE Report No. 2016-0094-3267 was initiated after a chief of several fire stations expressed concerns over potential fire fighter exposure to diesel exhaust in the stations’ living quarters.

Air samples were taken at the fire stations for elemental carbon and 1-nitropyrene. The air quality was also monitored for carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, temperature, humidity and particulates.

Conclusions of the investigations published in the HHE report were as follows:

We measured elemental carbon in the living quarters of station 1, indicating the presence of diesel exhaust. In contrast, the levels of elemental carbon in the living quarters of station 2 were similar to levels found outside of station 1. We saw an increase in airborne particles in the living quarters of station 1 shortly after diesel-engine-powered equipment was started in the bay, suggesting that exhaust was migrating into the living areas. At both stations we found that air flowed from the bays and into the living quarters, the opposite of what is needed to minimize contaminants from migrating into the living quarters.

“Exposure to the components of diesel particulate matter and any fine particulate matter on a regular basis, as is likely the case in many fire stations due to their layout and airflow patterns, can lead to serious health concerns for fire fighters who work long hours and temporarily live in these facilities week after week,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Due to the results of air testing and monitoring conducted for this Health Hazard Evaluation, recommendations were made regarding engineering and administrative controls  to mitigate these exposure concerns.”

Helping to identify airborne concerns at fire stations across North America are the scientists at EMSL Analytical, Inc. Their laboratories provide diesel particulate matter testing services and all of the supplies needed to collect and submit samples. They also offer air monitors for various gases and to measure particulate matter. EMSL has even sponsored an educational video about diesel exhaust, particulate matter and air quality issues that can be seen at:   

To learn more about indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, occupational and environmental testing services and monitoring instruments, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical, Inc. is one of the leading testing laboratories with 44 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella, USP 797, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA LAP, LLC. (AIHA EMLAP, AIHA IHLAP, AIHA ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at for a complete listing of accreditations.  In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.

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 fire station
 diesel exhaust
 air qualtiy
 carbon dioxide

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