In Arizona, with a $1.78 million grant from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, researchers at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health seek to determine the extent to which using alternative fuel mixtures can reduce exposure to hazardous components of diesel engine exhaust in underground mines to reduce disease in miners.
This study addresses one of the priority areas under the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda – emerging technologies – and will focus on cancer and cardiovascular disease. It also addresses another NIOSH strategic goal: to reduce respiratory disease in miners through reducing health hazards in the workplace associated with diesel emissions.
The investigators will partner with an underground mine where diesel is used to fuel all underground equipment. The study will evaluate two promising new alternative fuels – renewable diesel and a natural gas and diesel fuel mixture – and will compare emissions exposures and toxicity from vehicles using diesel, renewable diesel, and the natural gas and diesel fuel mixture.