WHO confirms diesel fumes carcinogenic..hmm..more carcinogenic than passive smoking..as we thought
Experts at the World Health Organisation (WHO) say diesel engine exhaust fumes can cause cancer in humans.
They say they belong in the same potentially deadly category as asbestos, arsenic and mustard gas.
After a week-long meeting, the International Agency for Research on Cancer reclassified diesel exhausts from its group of probable carcinogens, to its group of substances that have definite links to cancer.
It says diesel emissions cause lung cancer and increase the risk of bladder cancer.
They say their decision was unanimous and based on “compelling” scientific evidence.
The director of New York’s Clean Fuels and Vehicles Project, Rich Kassel, has told CNN the WHO has confirmed what has been suspected for some time.
“Anybody who lives in Beijing, Mexico, New York or any congested city has probably felt the feeling of holding their breath when the bus pulls away from the curb leaving you in a … puff of black smoke,” he said.
“This study basically confirms that we’re right to hold our breath when the bus pulls away.”
The pollution that we care about from diesel – buses, trucks and other diesel engines – is technically called particulate matter. We all know it is soot. It’s fine, fine particles that are small enough to get past our throat, past our lungs into the deepest part, the deepest of our lungs, where they trigger asthma attacks, bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease and now of course we’ve learned cancer.”
The WHO has acknowledged tougher fuel regulation has led to improved diesel quality and trucks do not billow big clouds of soot so often anymore.
But it says it is not yet clear whether these changes have reduced the risks.
The Cancer Council’s chief executive, Professor Ian Olver, says the WHO also has not confirmed what levels of exposure cause cancer.
“Most of the data in the world relates to occupational exposure, such as diesel equipment in mines, or transport, particularly railway workers, exposed to diesel,” he said.
“So the first group that we ought to be looking at are those that [are exposed] to the heavy diesel output machinery.”
Professor Olver says there is no data available for the levels of exposure in cities.
Diesel cars are mainly popular in western Europe, where tax advantages have boosted technological advances and demand.
Outside of Europe and India, diesel engines are almost entirely confined to commercial vehicles – mostly because of the fuel’s greater efficiency. German carmakers are trying to raise awareness of the fuel in the United States, where the long distances travelled on highways suit diesel engines.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said it was surprised by the WHO announcement and the industry would “have to study the findings in all their details”.
“The latest diesel technology is really very clean,” said spokeswoman Sigrid de Vries, adding the industry had been working on technologies to address health concerns.
Sean McAlinden, an analyst with the Center for Automotive Research in Michigan, said about 2 to 2.5 percent of light vehicles in the United States had diesel engines, but that was expected to rise to 8.5 percent by 2020.
IARC said large populations all over the world are exposed to diesel exhaust every day.
“People are exposed not only to motor vehicle exhausts but also to exhausts from other diesel engines…(such as diesel trains and ships) and from power generators,” it said.
IARC’s director Christopher Wild said that against this background, Tuesday’s 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,” he said in a statement.
The health charity Cancer Research UK welcomed the IARC move and said the evidence of harmful health effects of diesel had been accumulating for many years. But it added that “the overall number of lung cancers caused by diesel fumes is likely to be a fraction of those caused by smoking tobacco.”
Cancer killed 7.6 million people worldwide in 2008, the most recent year for which the WHO has full data. Lung cancer was the most deadly type, accounting for 18 percent of cancer deaths.
and we wonder at the increase in disease and cancers for city dwellers..heres your answer..the shit we suck up from out of the cars and trucks..passive smoking has nothing on this stuff..they knew this years ago but never wanted to tell us because it was not good for business..now its a good wedge to use to bring in the green revolution so they admit it..assholes..