In a report released yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared exhaust from diesel engines to be a carcinogen [PDF] — the same status as secondhand smoke. In 1989, the fumes were deemed a “probable carcinogen.” The suspected culprit? Particulate matter expelled during diesel fuel combustion. Gasoline exhaust, with a different chemical makeup, remains a possible carcinogen.
As reported by CBS News, the WHO study looked at a population of 12,000 miners over the course of the past 60 years. Those regularly exposed to diesel exhaust had three times the rate of lung cancer deaths as their peers.
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