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Removing Diesel Exhaust from Apparatus Bays

Until further research is completed, the IAFC is currently of the opinion that exhaust capturing systems are the most effective to prevent firefighter exposures in addition to other systems.

As additional scientific independent research is conducted on vehicle mounted filtration systems for diesel soot toxification for both outdoor and indoor air quality—as well as a solution for departments not "hooking up the hose"—the quantifiable outcomes will provide evidence-based findings as to the effectiveness of these systems. The IAFC workgroup can then review the new information and provide its findings and insights.  ­

Observations

  • User knowledge of the effectiveness of the different types of diesel exhaust capture and filter systems is limited and based on personal experiences, association and industry reports. It is not “exclusive” science as the science specific to fire station studies is not currently available.

  • Limited knowledge of the 2018 - NFPA 1500 Section 10.1.5
    • The fire department shall prevent exposure to firefighters and contamination of living and sleeping areas to exhaust emissions.(Note: Multiple articles referencing this section sited the standard incorrectly, this was confirmed directly through NFPA staff).

  • Limited understanding of "indoor air quality" compared to “outdoor air quality.”

  • Limited understanding of environmental quality around the fire apparatus including how potential systems affect firefighter health.

    • Research comparing systems around health hazards for indoor and outdoor standards will need to be conducted.

Additional Recommendations for All Fire Departments

  • Provide building ventilation exhaust systems in the apparatus bay areas.

  • Implement systems to actively monitor CO and NO2 in the apparatus bay.

  • Request NIOSH to investigate industry practices for the removal of diesel engine exhaust from apparatus bays.

  • Request NFPA 1500 committee to work in collaboration with SHSS to assist in educating the first responder community on standards related to contamination of living and sleeping areas as a result of exhaust emissions.


CONTACT:
Safety, Health and Survival Section. sdkerwood@huttofirerescue.org;  rmiller@iafc.org.

  • Topics:
    • Safety & Health
    • Health
  • Resource Type:
    • 1-pager/ summary/ infographic
  • Organizational Author:
    • Safety Health Survival Section

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