Department of Public Health Sciences

Current nitrogen dioxide exposures among railroad workers

Woskie, S. R., S. K. Hammond, T. J. Smith and M. B. Schenker

Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1989. 50(7):346-353.

As part of a series of epidemiologic studies of the mortality patterns of railroad workers, various air contaminants were measured to characterize the workers' current exposures to diesel exhaust. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is a constituent of diesel exhaust, was examined as one possible marker of diesel exposure. An adaptation of the Palmes personal passive sampler was used to measure the NO2 exposures of 477 U.S. railroad workers at four railroads. The range of NO2 exposures expressed as the arithmetic average +/- two standard errors for the five career job groups were as follows: signal maintainers, 16-24 parts per billion (ppb); clerks/dispatchers/station agents, 23-43 ppb; engineers/firers, 26-38 ppb; brakers/conductors, 50-74 ppb; and locomotive shop workers, 95-127 ppb. Variations among railroads and across seasons were not significant for most job groups.

Keywords: Air Pollutants, Occupational/*adverse effects, Chronic Disease, Environmental Exposure, Human, Lung Neoplasms/*etiology, Nitrogen Dioxide/*adverse effects, *Railroads, Respiration Disorders/*etiology, Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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