Editorial Archive

Subway Air Quality – Safety Talk

11/22/19 6:00 PM

From the Safety and Environment Department

The TTC completed the Subway Air Quality Study over 2017 and 2018 to provide current information on the air quality in the underground portions of the subway and to determine employee exposures to airborne contaminants.

Based on the air sampling results, the subway air quality continues to meet all Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) occupational exposure standards for employees and is not expected to affect the health of employees in the assessed work positions with no pre-existing serious respiratory conditions.

These findings are generally consistent with the results of the 1995 Subway Air Quality Study, where none of the contaminants in the more than 280 samples collected were above the former or the current occupational exposure limits. A comparison between the 1995 and the 2018 studies was made using several key markers (lead, barium, copper and manganese for certain job titles) that allowed for direct comparison. Concentrations of these markers were between 10 and 10,000 times lower in the 2018 study than in the 1995 study. Based on this information, it appears that the subway air quality is still showing some improvements over time.

All interim and final work group-specific reports were provided to management, applicable JHSCs and union safety representatives in April 2018 and February 2019, respectively. The summary report was then presented to the Safety, Security and Environment (SX) Committee in June 2019 and the TTC Board in July 2019.

The Safety and Environment Department has developed the documents attached below to assist Supervisors and Managers with face-to-face discussions with their employees about Subway Air Quality. This content is being shared broadly for all employees.

Subway Air Quality Brochure
Subway Air Quality Supervisor Guide

If you require copies of these documents for larger groups, a request can be made to Printing Services by completing the Graphics Services Requisition on the TTC intranet.

The TTC remains committed to identifying, implementing and evaluating dust mitigation measures that will further improve subway air quality for its workers and customers.

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