Those who work with and at close proximity to diesel engines, especially truckers, are at a higher risk of cancer according to a recent US study.
This is on top of the elevated risk of 'heart disease and stroke, possibly resulting from enhanced coagulation and arterial thrombosis' such exposure gives(2). The good news is that a British company has developed a fuel technology that is seen to reduce ultra fine particulate emissions by as much as 45% (3). Additone from ChemEcol is now available to all fleet operators in the UK.
Truckers endure such grave risks as lung cancers, heart disease and stroke every time they start their engines. But it's not just the lorry drivers who are at risk. The American study also saw that those working with the trucks (fork truck drivers, warehousemen, mechanics, and even office clerks) are at elevated risk from these killers.
Diesel exhaust carries particulate matter; this is what colours it a smoky black. Particulates are both created by and carriers of toxic substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Many of these are known to be particularly carcinogenic, mutagenic. Some of these particles are small enough (100nm or less) to be classified as nanoparticles. These have been found to become distributed around the body via the blood supply once inhaled with notable deposits being found in the liver and heart. If ingested (settled on food or in drink) they will also pass into the gastro-intestinal tract (4).
Its not just haulage workers who are at risk. Black carbon (again, part of the exhaust) exposure in city children has been shown to reduce development in terms of intelligence (5). The particulate matter we have been looking at is known also to exacerbate respiratory complaints such as asthma and allergies such as asthma and might agitate skin complaints also. Some studies have found that certain particulate constituents can be carcinogenic on the skin as well as when inhaled (6).
ChemEcol (UK) Ltd. makes the combustion enhancer Additone. The technology has been developed as a response to the grave threats posed by vehicle exhaust pollution. ChemEcol's products are not based on metal catalysts, nano-technology or otherwise, as that would contradict the goal of reducing particulate pollutant emissions. The technology is based on pure hydrocarbon formulations and maintains the physical properties of the diesel.
The technology modifies the combustion of the fuel inside the engine, reducing the particulates produced. This has a beneficial side-effect of reducing fuel consumption as the PAHs can be considered wasted fuel. This reduces also CO2 emissions and costs by an average of 3%.
1. Lung Cancer and Vehicle Exhaust in Trucking Industry Workers: Eric Garshick, Francine Laden, Jaime E. Hart, Bernard Rosner, Mary E. Davis, Ellen A. Eisen, and Thomas J. Smith: Environmental Health Perspectives volume 116|number 10|October 2008
2. Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution and Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis: Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD; Ida Martinelli, MD; Antonella Zanobetti, PhD; Paolo Grillo, MD; Li-Fang Hou, PhD; Pier A. Bertazzi, MD; Pier Mannuccio Mannucci, MD; Joel Schwartz, PhD: Archives of Internal Medicine 2008;168(9):920-927
3. Effect of a Non-Metallic Combustion Enhancer Diesel Additive on Mass and Number Particulate Emissions from Light Duty Vehicles and Heavy Duty Engines; S. H. Ahmed, Middlesex Univ., H. E. Rikeit, DaimlerChrysler, S. O. Hayat, ChemEcol BV Limited; SAE Technical Paper Series 2000-01-1910
4. The biological effects of nanoparticles: P.A. Revell, Professor Emeritus, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering: Nanotechnology Perceptions 2 (2006) 283??298
5. Association of Black Carbon with Cognition among Children in a Prospective Birth Cohort Study: Suglia, S. Franco 1; Gryparis, A. 2; Wright, R. O. 1,3; Schwartz, J. 1,3; Wright, R. J. 3,4: American Journal of Epidemiology. 167(3):280-286, February 1, 2008
6. Evaluation of the Mutagenicity and Carcinogenicity of Motor Vehicle Emissions in Short-term Bioassays: Joellen Lwetas: Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 47, pp. 141 ?? 152, 1983