Diesel exhaust emissions can cause cancer, a prominent global cancer group that’s part of the World Health Organization said Tuesday.
The International Agency For Research On Cancer (IARC) has classified diesel engine exhaust as a “probable” carcinogen, a cancer-causing, agent for the past 20 years.
Two new studies published this past winter based on research involving more than 12,000 mine workers, found an increase in lung cancer rates among workers exposed to diesel exhaust underground, with greater exposure linked to steadily higher cancer rates.
In workers who had the highest exposure, deaths from cancer nearly tripled.
Many governments often look to the IARC for standards on emissions levels, especially when it involves protecting workers who are exposed to diesel exhaust while on the job.
However, a spokesperson for the mining association said that the results of the study aren’t exactly accurate since researches looked at exposures from the 1950’s through the 90’s when regulations were looser and equipment was dirtier.
The Diesel Technology Forum and the National Resources Defense Council both estimate that diesel emissions, including dangerous particles, are reduced by 99% in newer engines.
Still, advocates of the study argue that while a lot of diesel fuel in a city might not specifically affect one person, increased exposure to diesel engine exhaust could be bad for the population.
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