Diesel engines fill an important role in our society, but they also run the risk of polluting the air and causing people around them to breathe in harmful toxins. If you find yourself in a position where you have to operate such an engine or be around diesel exhaust systems on a regular basis, you should take some precautions for your health. Using the tips below, you can work around diesel exhaust systems without hurting your skin or lungs.
Use High-Efficiency Catalytic Converters
While all diesel engines generate particulates that can make it dangerous to breathe near them, certain exhaust systems run better than others. The catalytic converter in an engine helps remove some of these particulates, which in turn makes breathing easier. Ideally, you should look for 3 way catalytic converters that are CARB compliant, as they create the fewest emissions. The Catalytic Exhaust Products Bobcat catalytic converter is a good example of one such component. The Bobcat catalytic converter has a high efficiency rating and works with most engines, allowing your diesel engine to run effectively without producing as many emissions. The better the efficiency, the easier you can breathe while working near a diesel engine.
Stay Out in the Open
Make sure not to operate machinery that uses diesel exhaust systems in an enclosed space. This means that you should never use a diesel engine in your garage or basement unless you have a lot of ventilation in the room. Even with good catalytic converters, these exhaust systems can generate enough particulates that you may have difficulty breathing. In cases where you are working out in the open, it’s still a good idea to pay careful attention to your own body and its functions. If you start to have labored breathing, feel dizzy, or suddenly have trouble keeping your eyes open, you should stop work and take a walk away from the area until you feel better. Knowing your body can sometimes be the best protection.
Unrelated to the diesel engine you may find yourself around, you can breathe easier while working near an exhaust system if you get plenty of cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis. Experts recommend at least 25 to 35 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise between three and five days a week for good cardiovascular health. If you make sure to walk, run, or get similar exercise regularly, you can handle more threats to your system. Do note, however, that being healthy on a cardiovascular level doesn’t make you immune to harm. A great heart and perfect set of lungs still won’t do you any good if you don’t follow the other health and safety tips outlined above.
Odds are that you will need to work with or near a vehicle or machine that uses a diesel exhaust system at some point in your life. Luckily, you don’t have to worry too much about particulate inhalation if you make sure to follow the tips above. Use high-efficiency engines and catalytic converters. Work outside whenever possible, and use good ventilation if you work inside. Most of all, get plenty of cardiovascular exercise for your long-term health in all areas.