Testing Air Quality within Agricultural Cabs

  • Ahrenholtz, Eugene;
  • Schmitz, Michael

The Worker Protection Safety Standards that are to be initiated Jan. 1, 1995, allow for substitution of personal protective equipment with an agricultural cab that provides respiratory protection. This protection must be declared in writing by the manufacturer or by a governmental agency to provide at least as much respiratory protection as the type of respirator listed on the pesticide labeling.

In an effort to offer this alternative, A.S.A.E. PM03-16 Environment with Agricultural Cabs, is endeavoring to determine Industry Standards that will cover all aspects of equipment and the corresponding testing of that equipment. A.S.A.E. has approved a filter test procedure outline for documentation as a draft standard. This approval has endorsement by EPA, NIOSH, and the state of California EPA committee members. The initial testing has verified a viable procedure for testing and certifying filter's capabilities and capacity for vapor protection.

Clean Air Filter research and development of Agricultural Cab testing procedures has resulted in the development of its "TEST CHAMBER" facility. We are able to drive an entire agricultural vehicle into our test chamber. By injecting a high concentration of a test simulant into the chamber, the entire structure is significantly challenged, and its integrity may be verified. Initial vapor testing indicates that respirator level protection can be achieved within Agricultural Cabs.

Clean Air Filter petitions NIOSH and all interested organizations to provide funding for the testing and documentation necessary to develop Cab Classification and Certification Standards.

This research abstract was extracted from a portion of the proceedings of "Agricultural Safety and Health: Detection, Prevention and Intervention," a conference presented by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

M. P. Schmitz and E. L. Ahrenholtz, Clean Air Filter, Defiance, IA.

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