Presentation on theme: "A Worker Right to Know Class Kirkland Fire Department November 2013."— Presentation transcript:
A Worker Right to Know Class Kirkland Fire Department November 2013
May 2012: World Health Organization determines “Diesel Exhaust” to be human carcinogen. June 2012: A complaint was filed with the KFD Safety Committee regarding firefighters’ exposure to diesel exhaust carcinogenic ingredients inside Kirkland Fire Stations. January 9, 2013: Air measurements taken by Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) at Station 22 February 20, 2013: Supplemental testing
“The emission from diesel engines consist of a complex mixture, including gaseous and particulate fractions… The gaseous constituents include carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), [nitric oxide] NO, [nitrogen dioxide] NO2, [sulfur dioxide] SO2, and VOCs (e.g., ethylene, formaldehyde, methane, benzene, phenol, acrolein, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons).”
“The particulate fraction (soot) is composed of solid carbon cores, produced during the combustion process, which tend to combine to form chains of particulates or aggregates, the largest of which are in the respirable range (more than 95% are less than 1 micron in size). Estimates indicate that as many as 18,000 different substances resulting from the combustion process may be adsorbed onto these particulates.”
“The adsorbed material contains 15-65%of the total particulate mass and includes compounds such as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, a number of which are known mutagens and carcinogens” Source:Health Hazard Evaluation Report No , Costa Mesa Fire Department, Costa Mesa, California; Kevin C. Roegner, MPH, CIH, Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch of the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH); Introduction, Health Effects of Diesel Exhaust.
January 9, Evaluation instruments were placed in 4 locations of Station 22: Apparatus bay, North Apparatus bay, South Living quarters (Lt’s room) Office area February 20, 2013—Color-metric tubes were used to sample apparatus bay and living quarters for Ethyl Benzene, Octane, Pentane, Toluene, & Petroleum Distillates.
Station 22 was selected for testing due to its relatively high call volume—1598 in 2012 according to the KFD Annual Report (4.4 calls per day), and because it does not feature a drive through apparatus bay. On Wednesday, January 9, 2013, Station 22 answered only one call.
The L&I “Recommended Action”: Train your workers with health hazards posed by Diesel Exhaust. Educate all firefighters and maintenance personnel on their role in preventing diesel exhaust exposures i.e., following diesel engine start-up procedures, conducting HVAC and trucks scheduled preventive maintenance, etc.
Diesel exhaust is unpleasant to smell, but its hazard seems to rest with a tiny portion of the total product. That tiny portion consists of a number of known and suspected carcinogens. In this respect, those carcinogens should be compared to radioactive exposure. That is, exposure will likely effect each individual differently. The level of exposure, duration of exposure, and frequency of exposure will combine to create “dose”.
Dose for each individual will be different. A given dose will produce effect (symptoms and/or disease) in some, but not in others. Borrowing from the radiation similarity again, the safe strategy for protecting workers exposed to Diesel Exhaust is to seek exposure levels “as low as reasonably achievable,” or ALARA.
With most hazardous materials, a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) can be referenced for scientific clarity of when and where a threshold of hazard exists, and should be located in your workplace MSDS book (Worker Right-to-Know). No MSDS can be found for Diesel Exhaust. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) have helpful information, but no specific exposure levels currently exist.
The CDC, OSHA, and NIOSH information sheets have been distributed to each Station Captain for inclusion in your MSDS book. These documents are enlightening but not definitive.
Also, MSDSs for Acrolein, Benzene, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Diesel Fuel, Ethylbenzene, Ethylene, Formaldehyde, Methane, Naptha, Nitrogen Dioxide, Octane, Pentane, Phenol, Sulphur Dioxide, and Toluene, have been included for the MSDS book. These MSDSs are for a large quantity of each specific material, and may not be reflective of the hazard of the minute quantities of each when found in Diesel Exhaust.
ALARA Administrative Controls: 1. Bay doors must be opened or opening before diesel engines are started. 2. Apparatus should not be run more than 60 seconds inside the bay before pulling outside. 3. HVAC systems should be conformed so that positive pressure exists in the living areas of the stations.
ALARA Administrative Controls, cont.: 4. If reserve apparatus require additional time to build up air brake pressure, an exhaust hose will be connected to the apparatus and discharged outside. Reserve apparatus will be equipped with a connector for supplying compressed air to the brake system. Do not start the diesel engine until the brake system has an indicated air pressure of 80 psi, then follow rule #2.
Administrative Direction The Kirkland Fire Department Safety Committee has recommended to the Chief of the Department that all KFD stations should be retro-fitted with “point-of-discharge” diesel exhaust collection systems to achieve ALARA. If you have other suggestions, please submit them to your Safety Committee representative.