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C-FERST Issue Profile: Diesel Exhaust

Diesel exhaust is a mixture of gases and particulates produced during combustion of diesel fuel in the engines of cars, trucks, buses, locomotives, marine vessels and heavy equipment.

The most common exposure pathway is inhalation of air containing diesel particulate matter. Based on human and laboratory studies, there is considerable evidence that diesel exhaust is a likely carcinogen.

Short-term exposure to diesel exhaust may cause eye, nose, throat and lung irritation; neurological effects such as lightheadedness; cough; and nausea. It can also worsen asthma. Long-term exposure in animal inhalation studies have resulted in lung inflammation and immunological effects. Human epidemiological studies have shown an association between diesel exhaust exposure and increased lung cancer rates.

Learn more about diesel exhaust by exploring the links below.