LYON, France, June 12 (UPI) -- An international health group said diesel exhaust is carcinogenic for humans and exposure to it is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, said the scientific evidence underwent a rigorous, independent assessment, which was reviewed thoroughly by the working group. It concluded there was sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of diesel exhaust.
The working group found sufficient evidence diesel exhaust is a cause of lung cancer and also noted a positive association -- based on limited evidence -- with an increased risk of bladder cancer.
"Large populations are exposed to diesel exhaust in everyday life, whether through their occupation or through the ambient air," the International Agency for Research on Cancer said in a statement. "People are exposed not only to motor vehicle exhausts but also to exhausts from other diesel engines, including from other modes of transport such as diesel trains and ships and from power generators."
The working group concluded gasoline exhaust was possibly carcinogenic to humans -- a finding unchanged from the previous evaluation in 1989.
"The scientific evidence was compelling and the working group's conclusion was unanimous: Diesel engine exhaust causes lung cancer in humans," Dr. Christopher Portier, chairman of the working group said. "Given the additional health impacts from diesel particulates, exposure to this mixture of chemicals should be reduced worldwide."