Estimates Of The Number Of Workers Exposed To Diesel Engine Exhaust By Industry In South Korea

Sangjun CHOI, Catholic University of Daegu, South Korea
PARK D. 2 , HA K. 3 , JUNG H. 4 , KIM S. 5 , JANG J. 5 , LEE K. 6 , YI G. 7 , YOON C. 8 , KOH D. 4 , KIM W. 9 , PARK D. 10 , SUN O. 10

1 Department of Occupational Health, Catholic University of Daegu, Gyeongsangbukdo, Korea
2 Department of Environmental Health, Korea National Open University, Seoul, Korea
3 Department of Biohealth Science, Changwon National University, Changwon, Korea
4 Catholic Kwandong University International St.Mary's Hospital, Incheon, Korea
5 Department of Public Health, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea
6 US Army Medical Dep. Activity-Korea, Seoul, Korea
7 Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, KOSHA, Ulsan, Korea
8 School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
9 Wonjin Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health, Seoul, Korea
10 Ministry of Employment and Labor, Korea

The aim of this study is to estimate the number of workers exposed to diesel engine exhaust (DEE) by industry and year in South Korea. The estimates of workers potentially exposed to DEE in South Korea were calculated by industry on the basis of the CARcinogen Exposure (CAREX) surveillance system. The data on the labor force employed in DEE industries were obtained from the ‘Census on establishments’ conducted by the Korea National Statistical Office from 1993 to 2013. The mean value of prevalence rates adopted by EU 15 countries was used as the primary exposure prevalence rate. We also investigated the exposure prevalence rates and exposure characteristics of DEE at 359 workplaces from 11 industries. Total workers exposed to DEE were estimated as 270,014 in 1993 and 417,034 in 2013 (2.2% of total labor force). As of 2013, the ‘Land transport’ showed the highest number of workers exposed to DEE, 174,359, followed by ‘Personal and household services’ with 70,298, ‘Construction’ with 45,555, ‘Wholesale and retail trade and restaurants and hotels’ with 44,005 and ‘Sanity and similar services’ with 12,584. Those five industries which have over 10,000 workers exposed to DEE accounted for 83% of total DEE exposure workers. Comparing primary prevalence rates used for preliminary estimation among 49 industries, ‘Metal ore mining’ had the highest rate of 52.6 %, followed by ‘Other mining’ with 50.0% and ‘Land transport with 23.6%. The DEE prevalence rates we surveyed (1.3-19.8%) were higher than the primary prevalence rates. The most common emission sources of DEE were diesel engine vehicles such as forklift, truck and van. The ‘Land transportation’ was estimated to be the major industry. Our estimated number of workers exposed to DEE can be used to protect workers from potential exposure to DEE in Korea.