Skip to main content

Diesel Exhaust and Your Health

Diesel Exhaust and Your Health

Diesel Exhaust and Your Health

Ah, the smell of diesel fumes in the morning. Almost as invigorating as that first cup of coffee. It’s been a part of your morning routine for as long as you can remember, and in a way it’s almost comforting. But that familiar smell of diesel fuel, can be harmful to your health.

Did you know? Lung cancer is thought to be linked to diesel fuel exhaust, according to the American Cancer Society. That can leave truck drivers like you at risk, but these tips from our friends at Higginbotham can help reduce your exposure and stay safe.

Health Risks of Diesel Exhaust

Being around diesel exhaust for an extended period of time can increase your risk of cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary and respiratory disease, and lung cancer, according to OSHA.

It can also cause:


  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Wheezing
  • Altered sense of smell
  • Irritation of the noise, eyes and throat
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn

How to Protect Yourself from Diesel Exhaust Health Risks

If you feel any of these symptoms, try to get some fresh air and tell your dispatcher or boss.

You can also protect yourself by:


  • Only running your truck’s diesel engine indoors when absolutely necessary
  • Putting exhaust extraction hoses on your truck’s tailpipe when you’re idling to move exhaust outside
  • Using mechanical ventilation systems to help move diesel exhaust away from you<
  • Opening as many doors and windows as possible to increase air circulation
  • Not running your truck’s engine near the fresh air intake of a building

By scheduling regular preventive maintenance checks, you can also reduce the amount of harmful exhaust your truck produces. Here are some tips to make sure your truck is working properly.

  • Get your truck engines checked regularly
  • Check for leaks in your exhaust system
  • Don’t try to fix your truck’s engine to try and improve your fuel economy. Any adjustments you make could actually increase harmful emissions.
  • Use emission control devices such as collectors, particle traps or air scrubbers. Replace any filters and clean such devices regularly.
  • Check your truck’s driving compartment for any damage that could let in diesel exhaust. This includes cracks or holes in the cab’s body or damage to weather stripping around
  • doors and windows.

You can also try personal protective equipment (PPE) if you’re having trouble with diesel exhaust.

  • Try protecting your eyes with protective eyeglasses or goggles.
  • For the most complete coverage, you can try a full-face piece, positive pressure, supplied air respirator. But make sure it’s properly fitted, cleaned, stored and maintained by OSHA
  • Standards.
  • Always use PPE in addition to, and never as a substitution for, other methods.

Want diesel fuel discounts typically only available to big fleets? Get the TransConnect Fuel Card and get exceptional service along with the best fuel savings possible from the truck stops you visit most, call 844-827-7705 or sign up today!

Are You Ready To Get The Best Fuel Card For Truckers?

Call Us Today:

get Started