Diesel Exhaust Emissions

Diesel engine exhaust emissions (DEEE’s) are a mixture of gases, vapours, liquid aerosols and substances made up of particles. They contain the products of combustion including; carbon (soot), toxic gases (carbon monoxide), aldehydes and a range of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).

The carbon particle or soot content varies from 60% to 80% depending on the fuel used and the type of engine. Most of the contaminants are adsorbed onto the soot. Petrol engines produce more carbon monoxide but much less soot than diesel engines.


The major source of workplace exposure to DEEEs is from emissions from heavy vehicles or machinery that use diesel fuel.

Breathing in diesel fumes can affect your health, and exposure to the fumes can cause irritation of your eyes or respiratory tract.

Prolonged exposure to diesel fumes, in particular to any blue or black smoke, could lead to coughing, chestiness and breathlessness. There is some evidence that repeated exposure to diesel fumes over a period of about 20 years may increase the risk of lung cancer.

As an employer, you are responsible for taking effective measures to control exposure and protect health.


Due to the range of substances that are generated from DEEE a number of workplace exposure limits (WEL’s) need to be considered. Some of the key targets that should be assessed against the legal limits are elemental carbon (0.1mg/m3), formaldehyde (2.5mg/m3), Acrolein (0.23mg/m3), Nitrogen Oxides (1ppm) and Benzene (3.25mg/ m3). These values are averaged over an 8-hour working period.

Once an assessment has been carried out to measure the exposure levels any actions should then be taken to either reduce or control exposure as part of an ongoing monitoring regime.



Our consultants are here to help you with advice and guidance. We offer a free consultation service to identify an appropriate exposure sampling and monitoring regime that will ensure you meet regulatory compliance.

We will then provide you with a no obligation proposal to attend your premises to carryout the site exposure assessment based on the monitoring regime most appropriate for your organisation.


If you need any further assistance with mould in the workplace or would like to know more please get in touch and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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