Study finds that diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published findings from their recent study that reveal that diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer. Despite the findings, the agency is not setting guidelines on what level of exposure is carcinogenic. Such guidelines will need to be set by national and international regulatory agencies.

Lung cancer accounted for 18 percent of all cancer deaths in 2008 according to the World Health Organization (WHO). While nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel trucks and buses have been reduced by 99 percent and particulate emissions have been reduced by 98 percent over the past decade, it is uncertain as to how this impacts health.

The IARC gives scientific advice to governments by classifying cancer risks. The IARC provides lists to governments which offers five different classifications of substances. These classifications are carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, possibly carcinogenic, not classifiable and probably not carcinogenic.*

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