Diesel fumes linked to lung and bladder cancersListen /
Exposure to diesel exhaust fumes causes lung cancer in humans, according to the World health Organization(WHO).
Studies conducted on groups such as underground miners, railway workers and truck drivers who were exposed to fumes from diesel engines showed an increased risk of death from lung cancer.
A panel of experts from WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) says exposure to diesel exhaust should be reduced given its additional health impact including causing chronic respiratory diseases.
Dr Christopher Wild from IARC says the findings of the panel have a valuable evidence-base on which governments especially in developing countries can begin to consider environmental standards for diesel exhaust emissions.
"One of the striking things from evaluating the evidence has been the lesson we've learnt which is we have relatively little information on the exposure to diesel exhaust in many of the developing countries. These are the very same countries where the older diesel technology and engines is still very much in use. These countries are not the ones that have the regulations in place to protect the populations. In evaluating the impact of these findings it sends a very strong signal also to the developing world that this is a public health question that needs more attention and that some of the exposures may be particularly high in those vulnerable populations."
The panel says exposure to diesel exhaust fumes can also lead to increased risk of bladder cancer.