In 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (“IARC”) classified diesel exhaust as a class 1 known human carcinogen. Since then, reevaluation and reanalysis of the major studies that were influential to IARC’s assessment have replicated the original findings and reaffirmed the suitability of the class 1 designation. Until recently, however, the peer-reviewed literature had yet to quantify the excess lung cancer risks posed to railroad workers exposed to diesel exhaust using Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Integrated Risk Information System, which is the methodology recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (“NIOSH”).
An article published recently in a peer-reviewed scientific journal analyzed diesel exhaust concentrations in the railroad work environment in conjunction with the EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System risk assessment methodology. The study concluded that “occupational exposure to diesel exhaust in the railroad work environment causes a significant and quantifiable increase in cancer risk to railroad workers.” This study is the first of its kind to utilize the NIOSH-recommended EPA methodology to calculate the excess lung cancer risk caused by railroad workers’ cumulative exposure to diesel exhaust.
NIOSH has stated that there is “no known safe level” of exposure to carcinogens such as diesel exhaust. Diesel exhaust exposure is associated with an increased risk of various cancers such as lung cancer and bladder cancer. If you or someone you love has been harmed from exposure to diesel fumes or exhaust on the job, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries. Call us today for a free case evaluation.