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5 December 2013

Diesel responsible for 6 percent of lung cancer deaths

An estimated 6 percent of lung cancer deaths in the United States and the United Kingdom – 11,000 deaths per year – may be due to diesel exhaust, according to a study recently published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

The researchers estimate that 4.8 percent of lung cancer deaths in the United States and the United Kingdom is due to occupational exposure to diesel exhaust, while 1.3 percent is due to environmental exposures to the exhaust.

Truckers and miners exposed over their careers to diesel exhaust face a risk of deadly lung cancer that is almost 70 times higher than the risk considered acceptable under U.S. occupational standards. The scientists calculated the lifetime risk for these workers at up to 689 extra lung cancer deaths per 10,000 workers exposed.

The researchers from Emory University and several other U.S. and European institutions used data from three previous studies of workers – two of truckers and one of non-metal miners – as well as national death statistics for the United States and United Kingdom. (Source: Environmental Health News)

Further reading :

Exposure-Response Estimates for Diesel Engine Exhaust and Lung Cancer Mortality Based on Data from Three Occupational Cohorts (pdf - 386.64 Kb)
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