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Home > Personal Injury > Harmful Substances > Diesel fumes – Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Diesel fumes – Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Diesel exhaust fumes cause cancer

Diesel exhaust fumes are “definitely carcinogenic”, meaning that they cause cancer.

Extensive research into the effects of diesel exhaust fumes, carried out in June 2012 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), found that the links between diesel exhaust fumes and cancer was stronger than previously thought and upgraded the classification from “possibly” to “definitely carginogenic”. This puts diesel exhaust fumes in the highest risk category alongside asbestos.

The IARC, part of the World Health Organisation (WHO), confirmed that diesel exhaust fumes can and do cause cancer, specifically lung cancer, although there is also some evidence that the fumes can cause bladder cancer.

Cancer develops when the fumes are drawn into the lungs and are able to damage DNA in human cells. The DNA damage means the cells receive the wrong instructions, multiplying out of control, leading to cancer.

Diesel exhaust fumes cause cancer

A panel of experts working for the World Health Organisation, has announced its findings following extensive research into the effects of diesel exhaust fumes.

Although the panel’s advice is that everyone should try to reduce their level of exposure to diesel exhaust fumes, their findings have confirmed that workers in mining, on the railways and involved in driving lorries (considered high-risk workers) have about a 40% higher risk of developing lung cancer than those not in a high-risk industry,
More about Diesel exhaust fumes cause cancer

More personal injury news

Please select one of the links below for more information and to see how Clear Answers may be able to help you bring a claim for compensation.

What are diesel exhaust fumes?

Diesel is a fuel derived from crude oil and the exhaust generated when diesel is used to run engines consists of two main parts, gases and soot. The larger and less sophisticated the engine the more the exhaust fumes are created. That means those, used in lorries, buses, taxis, construction equipment, farm equipment, trains and generators are likely to produce the most exhaust fumes though diesel engines have become more common in cars.

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Gases generated in the production of diesel exhaust fumes

The gases generated in the exhaust are mostly carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other gases including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) which are known to cause a variety of serious illnesses.

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Soot generated in the production of diesel exhaust fumes

The soot (particulate) portion of the exhaust fumes also includes PAH’s, as well as carbon, organic materials and traces of metallic compounds.

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Exposure to diesel exhaust fumes in the workplace

Some workers are subject to higher levels of exposure than the majority of the general public. These workers include lorry, bus and taxi drivers, miners, toll booth workers, railway workers, dock workers, garage workers, mechanics, and forklift truck drivers.

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Exposure to diesel exhaust fumes outside the workplace

It is possible to be exposed to diesel exhaust fumes where you live, play or travel. Passengers on buses, including school buses, are exposed to diesel exhaust fumes, but travelling in any vehicle along our congested roads poses some risk of inhaling the fumes, as does having a home near a busy road.

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The risks of developing cancer from breathing in diesel exhaust fumes

According to Cancer Research UK, although the inclusion of diesel exhaust fumes in the highest category (definitely carcinogenic) confirms that the fumes do cause cancer, this does not mean that the number of cancers caused by diesel fumes is exceptionally high when compared to the number of people who develop lung cancer as a result of smoking.

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Claiming compensation for cancer as a result of exposure to diesel exhaust fumes

If you are unlucky enough to suffer as a result of exposure to diesel exhaust fumes, it is possible that you may be able to bring a claim for compensation.

If exposure occurs at work, there are a number of regulations which can apply, including the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations.

If you believe that you are suffering an illness, disease or injury as a result of something in the environment, make sure that you seek medical advice and that your treating doctors are made aware of your suspicion as to the cause. Keep details of all doctors visited and treatments, and for any injury related expenses.

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News stories related to diesel exhaust fumes

Clear Answers' solicitors deal with a large number of all types of diseases caused by negligent exposure to harmful substances each year. Please visit our Personal injury news section to view these stories and other successful personal injury compensation claims that Clear Answers' solicitors have been involved in.

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Making a claim for compensation

Clear Answers lawyers are experts in all aspects of personal injury compensation claims, particularly diseases which develop as a result of negligent exposure to harmful substances, such as diesel exhaust fumes.

Our specialist personal injury lawyers will be able to advise you whether a claim for damages is possible, give guidance and assistance on how the claim can be pursued and ensure that all the correct evidence is obtained to secure the best result for you.

Telephone us now on 0800 783 9019 or complete one of our online compensation claim forms and a representative will contact you as soon as possible.

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