Keeping out noxious air and particles

The cab air quality unit protects operators from airborne toxins

For vehicles and machinery operating in environments with airborne toxins and dust, ODS Environmental is offering cab air quality systems that maintain a slightly elevated pressure level inside the cab, preventing any air from entering.

Such cab air quality systems are used on haul trucks and mobile machinery to protect operators from the kind of gases and substances released during things like compost processing and remediation.

According to the firm’s Gary Thomson, such systems are a more familiar fixture in other European countries. For example, in the Netherlands, where these systems have been popular since the mid-1990s. But in the UK this is still a relatively new practice.

ODS is the exclusive UK distributor for the air filtration systems manufactured by Freshfilter. The systems comform with the legal provisions included in standards such as NEN4444 (which applies in the Netherlands), as well as the harmonised European standards EN779, EN1822 and EN12941.

To prevent air entering the cabin, an artificial (but relatively small) over- pressure is created in the cabin, says the firm, so all air flows can go outside through the remaining gaps. The required air for this overpressure always goes through the filter system, so that it is untainted by polluted and harmful substances ensuring the operator is protected.

The type of filter will to some extent depend on the type of contamination present. Freshfilter’s literature says it has a database of over 500 toxic substances, and can specify filters precisely based on this information. In any case, ODS provides a bespoke fitting appropriate to the machine and the intended operating environment.

Thomson suggested a particular concern currently is bio-aerosols from waste facilities such as composting or AD. Recently the filtration systems have been factory-fitted by plant equipment manufacturer Liber, in London, for a category of loaders to be used in the waste industry.

Thomson mentions a number of applications including forestry, where insecticide spraying presents safety issues for operators. The systems can be factory-fitted but ODS also goes on-site to fit them on second-hand or existing vehicles.  Installation of the cab air quality unit also involves sealing the cabin, and the benefit of this is often underestimated. ODS is the exclusive UK distributor for the Freshfilter systems.