Diesel Exhaust Definitively Linked To Cancer
Diesel exhaust can definitely cause cancer, said an important global cancer group linked with the Worldwide Health Organization in hopes of raising emission standards.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the WHO, had previously classified diesel exhaust as "probably carcinogenic" to humans back in 1988. The recent press release and study urges the classification to be overturned, and that "sufficient evidence" exists to link diesel exhaust with lung cancer.
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The IARC is not an official government body, but many governments look to it for guidance for their health policies. It has conducted previous studies into the relationship between miners' healths and diesel exhaust.
"The scientific evidence was compelling and the Working Group's conclusion was unanimous: diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans," said Dr Christopher Portier, Chairman of the IARC Working Group. "Given the additional health impacts from diesel particulates, exposure to this mixture of chemicals should be reduced worldwide."
The study also noted that there a positive relationship, although limited evidence to show that increases in bladder cancer also correlated with diesel exhaust.
With the number of diesel cars increasing in the United States, diesel exhaust is worse now than ever. The press release stresses the large amounts of people being exposed to these exhaust fumes every day.
"People are exposed not only to motor vehicle exhausts but also to exhausts from other diesel engines, including from other modes of transport (e.g. diesel trains and ships) and from power generators," said the press release.
The IARC hopes that this will spur countries into action over tightening their exhaust regulations.