Characterizing In-Cab Air Quality in Heavy-Duty Diesel Construction Equipment Grant uri icon


  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) as one of the five most urgent risks to public health. Given that heavy equipment operators spend most of their workday inside of the equipment cab, poor IAQ may be a significant health issue for them. Heavy equipment operates in a harsh environment that includes temperature and humidity extremes, as well as dusty conditions that also exacerbate IAQ conditions. Furthermore, the equipment operator sits in close proximity to a high pollution source � the tailpipe of the equipment. IAQ in heavy-duty diesel (HDD) equipment must be characterized in order to determine the severity of the problem. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have specific standards for diesel?related pollutants from heavy equipment; however, they do have Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL) for many of the constituent pollutants found in diesel exhaust. These constituents include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. Diesel particulate matter is not specifically regulated by OSHA but it is included in the PEL for Total Dust. The primary objective of this research is to collect and analyze pollutant data from in-use construction equipment in order to characterize the in-cab IAQ. Outcomes of the research will lead to a better understanding of the environment in which construction equipment operators work and whether or not additional research is needed to specifically characterize operator exposure to certain pollutants.

date/time interval

  • 2018 - 2019