Diesel Facts

Diesel Fumes and the Danger

  • Diesel fumes contain carbon monoxide, arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, nickel, and other cancer causing substances
  • Inhalation can cause coughing, difficulty breathing, irritation to the eyes, and other maladies
  • Construction site, railroad, and truck driving employees are at a higher risk of health threats from diesel fumes
  • Respirators can help slow negative effects of inhalation when properly used
  • Environmental exposure is also possible
  • Can cause cancer in humans and animals
  • Almost 27,000 tons of particulate matter are emitted by diesel-fueled engines every year in California alone
  • There is a link between diesel engine emissions and non-cancerous lung damage
  • The Environmental Protection Agency recommends classifying diesel exhaust as a probable carcinogen
  • Diesel exhaust is made up of particles and gases that are suspended in the air and become inhaled with oxygen
  • The prevalence of diesel-fueled engines makes it almost impossible to avoid exposure
  • Over 20 years, exposure can increase risk of bladder cancer as well as lung cancer
  • There is some evidence that particulate matter can aggravate asthma or heart conditions

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