Diesel fumes increase cancer risk

Diesel engine emissions have serious health consequences according to a report by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The report that took ten years to compile and concluded that the inhalation of diesel exhaust fumes from buses, trucks, taxis and the like can substantially increase the risk of developing lung cancer.

Open quotesThe inhalation of diesel exhaust fumes from buses, trucks, taxis and the like can substantially increase the risk of developing lung cancerClose quotes

It also went on to site links with asthma, chronic respiratory problems, immune weaknesses and other lung diseases.

But these findings are not the first. A study by a coalition of US pollution control agencies in 2000 calculated that diesel fumes would actually cause over 100,000 lung cancer cases.

The problem arises from the vast number of small solid particles in the fumes absorbing the toxic gases into their surfaces. After inhalation, these particles bring their mutagenic and carcinogenic effects directly to the lung tissues.

Obviously people in traffic-congested cities are at most risk. Perhaps it is time for voters to insist their cities have electric buses and cabs and lobby for a transport policy that fits with a health policy.

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