Diesel danger

World Health group says diesel fumes cause cancer

Published:  28 June, 2012

After a week long meeting, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, has classified diesel engine exhaust fumes as carcinogenic. The agency says this is based on 'sufficient evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer'. The study also showed there was also some evidence of an increased risk of bladder cancer.

People in urbanised areas of the world are said to be at risk mainly from motor vehicle exhausts but also from ambient particles from diesel trains, ships and power generators.

The effects of relatively recent technology to reduce harmful particulates and chemicals in exhaust fumes, such as diesel particulate filters and much tighter emissions legislation, has not been taken into account and further study is needed. Dr Wild, Director of the IARC, concluded: "The scientific evidence was compelling and the Working Group's conclusion was unanimous: diesel engine exhaust fumes causes lung cancer", he added, "this conclusion sends a strong signal that public health action is warranted".

We can expect even tighter emissions regulation from the EU in the near future and perhaps this will mean petrol models will be back in favour with the VMs.

Aftermarket will be looking at the health and safety implications this has for automotive workshops in the September issue, published August 24th.

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