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Diesel Exhaust Linked To Lung Cancer

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by zenMachine, Mar 5, 2012.

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  1. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    http://www.pharmpro.com/news/2012/03/newsletter-Study-Links-Heavy-Diesel-Exhaust-to-Lung-Cancer/

    WASHINGTON (AP) — There's new evidence that exposure to exhaust from diesel engines increases the risk of lung cancer.

    Diesel exhaust has long been classified as a probable carcinogen. But the 20-year study from the National Cancer Institute took a closer look by tracking more than 12,000 workers in certain kinds of mines — facilities that mined for potash, lime and other nonmetals. They breathed varying levels of exhaust from diesel-powered equipment, levels higher than the general population encounters.

    The most heavily exposed miners had three times the risk of death from lung cancer compared to workers with the lowest exposures, said the study released Friday by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

    But even workers with lower exposures had a 50 percent increased risk, wrote lead author Debra Silverman, an NCI epidemiologist.

    "Our findings are important not only for miners but also for the 1.4 million American workers and the 3 million European workers exposed to diesel exhaust, and for urban populations worldwide," Silverman wrote.
    1 person likes this.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i knew it!
  3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    Fortunately, modern vehicle emissions standards are exponentially better than 20 years ago. The impact of this could be to push for retirement or retrofitting on older engines.
  4. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...also I believe the ultra low sulfur diesel now available reduces particulates as well as enables cleaner engine technology
  5. frodoz737

    frodoz737 The Mechanic

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    Took them 20 years?...and how much money? :rolleyes:
  6. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    How would YOU have done it?
  7. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    There is no way to get good cancer data by only looking at short time periods. There is too much natural variation. 10 years is an absolute minimum for cancer studies.
  8. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Even when the links are seemingly obvious, the burden of scientific proof requires much longer time periods than forming an opinion. ;)
  9. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I only need to look at my cabin filter (which I replace every 10k miles) to see the black crud that lines it and which would otherwise be in my lungs.

    It is said the world place for pollution in the UK is inside a London cab!?! All the diesel fumes sucked up into the vehicle cabin. Not sure if they have cabin filters, though most cabbies I know remove them at first service to save on costs!?! I've seen the white/grey headlining of a London cab turn a dirty black within about 18 months. I personally, religiously change my cabin filter. A non Toyota one can be had for 1/4 the price of the original.
    2 people like this.
  10. skruse

    skruse Senior Member

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    Big Carbon has so much money invested in diesel (oil) and coal, they cannot see alternatives. Short term greed trumps long term health. Even with increased controls on emissions, diesel remains a serious problem.
  11. seftonm

    seftonm Member

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    Weren't offroad engines pretty much totally unregulated until sometime around 2000? Unregulated industrial diesel exhaust is linked to cancer? Shocking finding.
  12. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Both OP's linked article, and the one I saw elsewhere, were headlined " ... heavy diesel ...". It is unfortunate that that word is missing from this thread title. The absence will cause confusion.
  13. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

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    GULLIBLE?
    I thought second hand smoke was the cause of disease.That was last years brilliant study.
    Is it possible that some other factor could affect miners?
    Radon: risk assessment
  14. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    Read this page:

    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_emission_standards"]European emission standards - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    Look at the change in levels, with the new standards, particularly PM and NOx and make particular note of the levels from (trucks) and buses.

    Emissions have been reduced by 90% since vehicles from just 10 years ago and there are a lot of old vehicles out there. As the fleet gets replaced the air will get significantly cleaner. The main problem for now is that commercial operators keep vehicles running a long time. All those old diesels make city air foul, particularly Central London, where the air leaves black residue in your nose and mouth. In the longer term the problem will be the selfish criminals that Grumpy mentioned who remove the emissions controls to improve fuel economy.
  15. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    Because they wouldn't have thought of any other possible common factors when doing the analysis. :rolleyes:

    You know, this study is actually about exposure to second-hand smoke. They aren't sucking on the exhaust pipes.
  16. seftonm

    seftonm Member

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    Yeah that's too bad, headlines like that make people think I drive around in a cancer causing soot factory. Oh well, hopefully what they don't know won't hurt them.
  17. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Attitudes like this are why the science needs to be so rigorous.
  18. RRxing

    RRxing Active Member

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    And to think of all of those diesel school buses toting kids around...
  19. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    What's the next step?


    Thoughts about "proof": How much time would it take to formally prove that water does not cause cancer? Using this ridiculous example, I have come to two conclusions:
    1) There is a lot of work proving the (near) obvious. Getting big patient cohorts that have a statistical difference in water intake would be extremely difficult, just like getting big cohorts that breath very different air.
    2) Some study results can be interesting, but usable followup policy actions cannot be very significant since the best actions are already being taken where possible.
  20. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    I really cannot believe this, but I am going to support mojo here. Excluding other carcinogens as players is a weakness in this study. It appears the authors picked mines that are not known to be highly carcinogenic like silica, but the lower the prevalence of disease, the harder it is to draw solid conclusions.

    Not that I doubt the adverse health effects of diesel. The studies done around the Bronx and LA port are quite convincing.
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