Experts link diesel fumes to cancers

Sunday June 17 2012

According to scientific findings, exposure to diesel engine exhaust fumes could lead to the cancers.

Photo/FILE According to scientific findings, exposure to diesel engine exhaust fumes could lead to the cancers.  

By NATION REPORTER

Exhaust fumes from diesel engines and electricity generators are putting more people at risk of lung and bladder cancer, researchers have warned.

France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organisation, has released a report that has reclassified diesel exhausts from ‘probable’ carcinogens to a group of substances that have definite links to cancer.

According to scientific findings, exposure to diesel engine exhaust fumes could lead to the cancers.

The findings rate diesel fumes in the same risk category as asbestos, arsenic, mustard gas, alcohol and tobacco.

Mr Christopher Portier, the chairman of the IARC working group, said the group’s conclusion ‘was unanimous, that diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans’.

“Given the additional health impacts from diesel particulates, exposure to this mixture of chemicals should be reduced worldwide,” he said in a statement.

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) on Sunday confirmed that the by-products of diesel cause  both respiratory infections and even the cancers, and that Kenya was in the process of regulating the emissions.

“We formulated air quality regulations that are currently awaiting gazettement in efforts to clean up our air,” Nema’s Compliance and Enforcement director Benjamin Langwen said.

He said Kenya had reduced its sulphur content from 10,000 parts per million over the years to 500 parts per million, against the global standard of 50 parts per million.