WHO Links Diesel Fumes to Lung Cancer
A declaration from the World Health Organization (WHO), revealed on June 12, linked diesel fumes to lung cancer.
The WHO decision, which was announced in Lyon, France after a week-long scientific meeting, is the first to declare diesel fumes as a “known carcinogen,” with experts saying that they were more carcinogenic than secondhand cigarette smoke.
The WHO ruling is based on the results of a study conducted by cancer researcher Dr. Debra T. Silverman, chief of environmental epidemiology for the National Cancer Institute. The research looked into 50 years of exposure to diesel fumes of 12,000 miners, and found that miners who did not smoke, but were heavily exposed to diesel fumes, were seven times more likely to develop lung cancer compared to other non-smokers who were not exposed to the same conditions.
Occupational diesel exposure, Dr. Silverman revealed, is a far greater lung cancer risk when compared against passive cigarette smoking, based on the results of her study. It was, however, a far smaller risk factor when compared to smoking two packs a day.
Dr. Otis W. Brawley, medical director of the American Cancer Society, praised the decision of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, expressing that the cancer society also had concerns about diesel for a long time now. He shared: “I don’t think it’s bad to have a diesel car… I don’t think it’s good to breathe its exhaust. I’m not concerned about people who walk past a diesel vehicle, I’m a little concerned about people like toll collectors, and I’m very concerned about people like miners, who work where exhaust is concentrated.”
The WHO also said that diesel exhaust may possibly cause bladder cancer as well.Tags: dangers of diesel fumes, exposure to diesel fumes, risks of diesel fumes