13 Jun '12, 4pm

Diesel exhaust causes cancer, says the World Health Organization

Diesel exhaust causes cancer, says the World Health Organization

In a report released yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared exhaust from diesel engines to be a carcinogen [PDF] — the same status as secondhand smoke. In 1989, the fumes were deemed a “probable carcinogen.” The suspected culprit? Particulate matter expelled during diesel fuel combustion. Gasoline exhaust, with a different chemical makeup, remains a possible carcinogen. As reported by CBS News , the WHO study looked at a population of 12,000 miners over the course of the past 60 years. Those regularly exposed to diesel exhaust had three times the rate of lung cancer deaths as their peers. This doesn’t mean that people who live in urban areas need to move to farms. The threat is akin to secondhand smoke: If you live in a closed room with a constant smoker, you’re far more at risk than if you simply walk by someone on the street. As the WHO put it : Large po...

Full article: http://grist.org/news/diesel-exhaust-causes-cancer-who-says/

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