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The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has confirmed that fumes from dirty diesel engines causes cancer. The new report adds to a mountain of studies, reports, and data linking diesel fumes to a wide range of health problems including, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and heart disease; and now places diesel exhaust fumes in the same cancer risk category as asbestos and arsenic.
Fumes from dirty diesel cause huge costs each year. Last year in the US alone diesel used to fuel buses, trucks, construction and farm machines, and ships led to more than 50,000 premature deaths and $300 billion in health costs.
Luckily it is quite simple to solve the diesel pollution problem. Reducing sulphur levels in diesel fuel allows the engines to take advantage of effective filtration technologies only available to ultra-low sulphur fuels. This dramatically reduces the pollution levels of the exhaust fumes. Low sulphur diesel is now standard in the US and modern diesel engines are 90 percent cleaner than engines sold just a few years ago.
However other parts of the world are not as lucky as the US, and must make do with ancient, highly polluting diesel engines. Sulphur levels in China, India, and Mexico are more than 30 times higher than in the US, and in poorer countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America, sulphur levels can be 300 times higher.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com