Friday, September 11, 2009

How Diesel Exhaust Grows Cancer

By Julia Whitty
Wed September 2, 2009
Mother Jones

NOMAC Rig #117, Bradford Co., PA

A link has been found between diesel fumes and cancer and it lies in the ability of diesel exhaust to grow new blood vessels supplying solid tumors.

The new research, forthcoming in Toxicology Letters, found that more new blood vessels sprouted in mice exposed to diesel exhaust than in mice exposed to clean filtered air. The growth occurred in both healthy and diseased animals—meaning that even healthy bodies are susceptible to the damaging effects of diesel.

The problem lies in the size of inhaled diesel particles. Most are less than 0.1 micron in diameter—that's less than one-tenth of a millionth of a meter. Such tiny particles penetrate the blood stream, organs, and tissues to damage practically any part of the body.

Photo courtesy the US Environmental Agency

Exposure levels in the study mimicked the exposures of people living in urban areas and of people commuting in heavy traffic. The levels were lower than, or similar to, those typically experienced by workers using diesel-powered equipment and those working along railroads, in mines, tunnels, vehicle maintenance garages, on bridges, farms, and at loading docks.

For more on this story, CLICK HERE.

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