Motorcyclists/joggers breathing auto exhaust fumes

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Motorcyclists/joggers breathing auto exhaust fumes

Postby tvelection » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:40 pm

I noticed that motorcyclists sit in traffic, especially in metro areas, and have to breathe all the clouds of noxious fumes of the vehicles in front of them especially the horrid clouds from diesel vehicles. The air quality in high traffic areas is obviously poor if not downright dangerous and full of carcinogens: incompletely burned fuels, benzene, hydrocarbons, sulphur particles, carbon monoxide, etc. This is made worse when a whole line of traffic at a stop light accelerates in turn as the light turns green.

What might help motorcyclists breathe is a full-face helmet with a HEPA filtration device around the mouth at the air vents. This may not stop many gaseous fumes (for that they'd really need an oxygen tank which is a bit impractical) but a strong filter in a motorcycle helmet would probably make a huge difference in the amount of soot and particles deeply inhaled into the lungs. Whenever I see a motorcyclist stuck in rush hour traffic or behind a diesel truck I cringe to think of what they inhale. Personally, between the two, I'd take second-hand cigarette smoke over a few lung-fulls of diesel fumes any day.

Also, for that matter I'm always unimpressed by joggers who jog beside busy roads. They may as well stay at home and smoke a few cigarettes because even though they are attempting to do something healthy they are exposing themselves to obscene amounts of exhaust fumes, and worse they are breathing deeply in exertion. Such metro-joggers are probably doing more damage than good. Especially with the diesel vehicles' clouds of powerful fumes they endure (buses, vans, tractor trailers, passenger trucks, motorcycles without catalytic convertors). Most of us are blind to things we do in err until they are pointed out to us or we notice them. When I used to walk by the road (had no car) I didn't even pay attention, the fumes were just there. But after I had a few good facefuls of bus fumes (followed by a headache) then it became all too obvious. So when I see joggers running by all those idling and accelerating cars at traffic lights, I don't think they are ignorant so much as not paying attention yet to how dangerous their "healthy" activity really is. There should be retainers with semi-cylindrical mouth filters available too. People in China's industrial cities might want an oral filter too considering their surgical masks' weak filtration and aesthetic appearance.

Aside from these ideas if you want to ride a bike (pedal or motor) or jog find a park or rural area otherwise you will inhale things far worse than you might realize at the time. Because, when you see someone jogging along a busy road you see a "smoker" of fumes trying to be healthy.

P.S. School buses are some of the worst diesel fumes, they should not be allowed to idle while picking up children at school until all the children are on board and should shut the bus off while unloading at the school.
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Postby mmiller » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:57 pm

Good points, my observations and suggestions too.

And I might add, often with much resistance from others. The college whizzes around me used to swallow the propaganda wholesale, proclaiming that "diesel, eventhough it looked bad, was actually not nearly as bad as auto-pollution" It took a few years to change this idiocy; now the verdict is out. Finally.
I complained to the elementary school my kid attended a few years ago. There was a nook by the exit, a great hang out for kids. Every day, the bus driver, would pull up there early, and leave the bus idling for some 20 minutes, with the diesel exhaust pointing right at the building, of course. Kids first, would be getting that exhaust as it filtered inside the school, and then a concentration of it in that little nook while they played and waited for rides. The school responded, though the general answer was, "Well, that area is not a playground, and the elementary kids shouldn't be playing there" What a mindset! Aren't they supposed to be looking out for our childrens' best interests! Don't those fumes slow mental thoughts? Don't they pollute their lungs, slow them physically, etc etc. How stupid! To their credit, it did end for a while, but it returned just they discourage kids from playing that area. As though kids aren't going to be kids.

I kind of wonder sometimes how cancers come about in later years. Is it prolonged exposure that finally takes old, or maybe, some of those carcingens just happened to land in just the right spot in the longs to get started, and either cause or contribute a growth decades later. That is, it's simply a Russian Roulette probability. Tough to say. My philospophy is better safe than sorry, especially in situations where a tiny bit of foresight can prevent such exposure. Why take unnecessary chances?

My favorite recently is the big honker diesel pick ups that are parked and left running in front of public buidlings like airports or stores, with numerous people. The exhaust pipes are just feet away from the open doors of the establishment, the trucks are running, as if they are trying to poison everybody inside. Utter stupidity imho. Later in life, one may wonder how their tumor started. It could be some evil corporation spewing pollutants, or maybe more likely it was that diesel truck that gave you more of a lifetime of contaminants than that corporate polluter.

One of the big myths is that diesel vehicles are better left running. That was in the older days, not anymore, but that's a standard excuse.
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exhaust fumes

Postby tvelection » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:20 pm

mmiller, (I'm glad you can relate on this issue) the response you were given by the school was disappointing in so many ways; for one, you weren't suggesting that is was a playground, and on top of that it was a place where kids may actually be or congregate and are exposed to a high level of diesel exhaust fumes. Yet if a smoker would have lit-up daily in that same area some parents would probably be in an uproar. The solutions were so simple for the school, have the driver shut off the bus (when the weather permits) and save gas, or have the buses idle further from the building. Your request was reasonable the response was off-point and shrugged the situation off. But over their head is the school board or counsel which might have more influence and patience to respond in front of an audience.

As for the trucks pulling up to doors ---I worked at a convenience store where diesel trucks pulled right up front with their exhaust pipes 4 ft. from the door. Then, when the door opened, it pulled it all into the store lasting at least 10 minutes. Holding your breath didn't help because that only leads to a deeper breath. Diesel fumes, imo, are the most obnoxious and sickening fumes of all car pollution, most truck owners paid no attention though. I mean, those people who pulled up in diesel trucks didn't have a plot to fill the store with fumes (in my mind) but rather until I told them they weren't even aware of the consequences of what they were doing.

One more scenario, since you are one a the few people who are knowingly aware of diesel engine fumes: You're in a car with someone with the A/C, vent, or open windows, at a light behind a diesel vehicle slamming out the fumes, but driver does not seem to mind or even be aware that the car is filled with diesel fumes like a little gas chamber. I think the most amazing thing of all is how before something is noticed it almost does not exist (in a subjective way) ---the clouds of burning oil from that minivan in front and yet some sit there and fully breathe it in simply because they never reflected on it. This extends to other fields, for that matter; I've known people who do auto-body work, sanding all day, and do not even wear a dust mask, or landscapers breathing the dry dust blown up from their (high-fume/2-cycle) mowers for 8 hours a day.

In a much larger sense, I think we are all like this, no matter how intellectual or non-academic, be it in safety, pettiness, hygeine, cruelty, or doing foolish or dangerous things in youth ---we're not aware of an error in judgment because we haven't yet acknowledged it in our own reflection (yet what, ironically, may seem obvious to others). When pointed out, some finally may reflect on the consequences of their actions not only others but their own self, consequences that never seemed to matter before. I think people who throw their empty fast-food out of the car window are the same ones wondering why the streets are strewn with garbage and who (else) will pick it up, lol.

So too when I was younger, the car I was driving filled up with diesel fumes (it happens to most/all drivers) and at the time it was a mere nuissance and nothing to be concerned about. But when a person finally becomes aware of "Diesel!" they start to recognize the approaching sound of that "pingy" rig-sounding engine with its choking smoke. Only then, when one has been "dieseled" for the hundredth time and gets the oxygen-deprived headache does a person learn to roll up the window or circulate the air in the car only in traffic. And then I see that others are still blind to it like I was and haven't really made the distinction between diesel fumes versus others. I'm sure that many anti-smoking parents will have their kids strapped in a car seat unaware and all the while tolerating cabin fulls of exhaust fumes (from regular cars too), not in negligence but simply not having distinguished the danger from the overall sense of just sitting in traffic with their minds on other things.

Schools (especially elementary) that bus their children should all have either policies, or even local ordinances, that minimize the exposure of children to diesel exhaust fumes (5 days -- twice a day).
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Postby mmiller » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:02 pm

One strategy I use to at least minimize exposure to air contiminants is to be wary of what is about to happen, and then briefly hold my breath, weather it be deisel, or dust. Ususally the strongest concentration blows over in a few seconds. Or try to be upwind of the source.

Another when driving is to roll up the window during first exposure to thick cloud of deisel or dust. And then to avoid the concentration of fumes that subsequently build up in the verhicle with the windows closed, re-open them again as soon as the air clear, thus flushing out the pollution. MM
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Re: Motorcyclists/joggers breathing auto exhaust fumes

Postby bui doi » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:41 pm

You would think that cyclists and motorcyclists get more exhaust fumes than car drivers, but according to recent research, car drivers get more.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/ ... -pollution

the air inside cars comes from the outside and sits there. i believe some modern cars have pollution filters now.
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Re: Motorcyclists/joggers breathing auto exhaust fumes

Postby abaddon1234 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:43 am

I'd take second-hand cigarette smoke over a few lung-fulls of diesel fumes any day.
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