Also discussed here: Strimmers are worse than motorway traffic (Medical XPress, May 30, 32013)
Today we review an article that looks at the health risks of highway workers exposed to both vehicle emissions from proximity of traffic and the noise and emissions of particles from their equipment- such as from chain saws and jack hammers. Results indicate levels eight times higher than those faced by the average population. More generally, one could suppose that residences close to ongoing highway maintenance in a city environment would also be impacted.
“They accompanied 18 maintenance workers on 50 working days during tasks such as clearing snow, mending crash barriers, cleaning drains, cutting wood or mowing grass on the motorway central reservation.[in Lausanne, Switzerland]”
“compared to the average population, maintenance workers are exposed to between three and eight times higher particulate levels. In addition, noise levels often exceed the critical level of 85 decibels”
“The highest exposure to fine and ultrafine particles was measured during grass mowing and lumbering when motorized brush cutters and chain saws were used.”
“the use of strimmers or chainsaws and the traffic during maintenance work in tunnels also give rise to noise levels of 90 decibels or more.. Highest noise levels, caused by pneumatic hammers, were measured during paving and guardrail repair.”
“The quickest way to reduce particulate levels, therefore, is to improve the engines in these machines. This is primarily a challenge for the manufacturers”