IARC does not have rule-setting or enforcement power; however, governments tend to look to the IARC for guidance, said CNN, which could, in turn pressure governments to install stricter emissions guidelines and also protect workers exposed to diesel exhaust. IARC has classified diesel engine exhaust as a “probable” carcinogen for over 20 years. Until now, said CNN, no clear proof linked the fumes to increased cancer rates.
Two studies were recently published that involved research on more than 12,000 mine workers. The studies were conducted by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and were known as the Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study (DEMS), said CNN. Both studies found an increase in lung cancer rates in workers exposed to diesel exhaust underground. Greater exposure was also linked to steadily increased cancer rates. CNN explained that one study found that workers with the highest exposure experienced a three-fold risk of death; the other study revealed a five-fold increased risk. Even low levels of exposure to the suspected carcinogen elevated the risk of lung cancer by 50 percent, the study noted. [Continue reading …]
Are bicyclists at increased risk, at least in the longer term?