This should not come as news to anyone, but despite long standing denials from public officials and the trucking industry over many decades, we finally have an official acknowledgement of what should be obvious. The sickened, irritating exhaust fumes from diesel engines cause cancer.
Diesel is a petroleum product used as fuel in the engines of most heavy duty vehicles. Diesel fumes can cause lung cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an affiliate of the World Health Organization or WHO.
In a report released in France, they said people exposed to diesel fumes are at greater risk of developing lung cancer. The report said…“After a week-long meeting of international experts, the IARC has classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer.”
Dr. Christopher Portier, the Chairman of the IARC Working Group said… “The scientific evidence was compelling and the Working Group’s conclusion was unanimous: diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans. Given the additional health impacts from diesel particulates, exposure to this mixture of chemicals should be reduced worldwide.”
Many people who are exposed to diesel fumes from a passing diesel vehicle experience headaches and nausea, but for decades health risks associated with these horrible fumes have been steadfastly denied. This report should clear the air (excuse the unintended pun) on any controversy concerning the matter. It is now a matter of fact as the evidence is now in and is conclusive.
The IARC said governments now have valuable evidence on which to consider changing environmental standards for diesel exhaust emissions and should work with engine and fuel manufacturers to lessen the risks.
The Director of the IARC, Dr. Christopher Wild says… “The conclusion sends a strong signal that public health action is warranted. This emphasis is needed globally, including among the more vulnerable populations in developing countries where new technology and protective measures may otherwise take many years to be adopted.”