Exhaust from newer diesel engines not cancer-causing: Study

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BOSTON, Mass. — A new study has concluded there’s no evidence that exposure to new-technology diesel engine exhaust is linked to lung cancer.

It’s the first study to evaluate lifetime exposure to new technology diesel exhaust. The study also found new-technology diesel engines produce 90% less emissions than older diesel engines.

The study was conducted using lab rats, who were exposed to diesel engine exhaust 80 hours a week, for up to 30 months. The engines were of the EPA07 variety, using diesel particulate filters to trap particulate matter.

In contrast to previous health studies using traditional older diesel engines, it was found lifetime exposure did not induce tumors or pre-cancerous changes in the lungs. Some mild changes were found in the lungs, related to long-term exposure to NO2, but that too has since been reduced drastically with the introduction of EPA10 generation engines.

“We are already seeing a transition in America’s roads with over 30% of the trucks and buses in use today meeting these new standards and the trend is growing in Europe as well,” said Dan Greenbaum, president of the Health Effects Institute, which published the study. “These results confirm the great strides that government and industry have made to reduce diesel risk – and argue for even greater efforts to accelerate the replacement of older diesel engines.”

“These results are impressive for what they can mean for reducing exposure in the US and Europe, but also for the promise they hold in the developing countries of Asia and elsewhere in the world,” added Bob O’Keefe, vice-president of HEI. “Countries like China are already moving toward implementing the ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel that is required for these new cleaner technologies.”

The full report and other supporting info will be posted here.

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