Moorebank Intermodal diesel will cause cancer. The silent total killercoming to Liverpool


PRESS RELEASE
N° 213
12 June 2012
IARC: DIESEL ENGINE EXHAUST CARCINOGENIC
Lyon, France, June 12, 2012  ‐‐ After a week-long meeting of international experts, the International
Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC),  which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), today
classified diesel engine exhaust as  carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence
that exposure is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer.
Background
In 1988, IARC classified diesel exhaust as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A). An Advisory Group
which reviews and recommends future priorities for the IARC Monographs Program had recommended
diesel exhaust as a high priority for re-evaluation since 1998.
There has been mounting concern about the cancer-causing potential of diesel exhaust, particularly based
on findings in epidemiological studies of workers exposed in various settings. This was re-emphasized by
the publication in March 2012 of the results of a large US National Cancer Institute/National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health study of occupational exposure to such emissions in underground miners,
which showed an increased risk of death from lung cancer in exposed workers (1).
Evaluation
The scientific evidence was reviewed thoroughly by the Working Group and overall it was concluded that
there was  sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of diesel exhaust. The Working Group
found that diesel exhaust is a cause of lung cancer (sufficient evidence)  and also noted a positive
association (limited evidence) with an increased risk of bladder cancer (Group 1).
The Working Group concluded that gasoline exhaust was possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), a
finding unchanged from the previous evaluation in 1989.
Public health
Large populations are exposed to diesel exhaust in everyday life, whether through their occupation or
through the ambient air. People are exposed not only to motor vehicle exhausts but also to exhausts from
other diesel engines, including from other modes of transport (e.g. diesel trains and ships) and from power
generators.
Given the Working Group’s rigorous, independent assessment of the science, governments and other
decision-makers have a valuable evidence-base on which to consider environmental standards for diesel
exhaust emissions and to continue to work with the engine and fuel manufacturers towards those goals.
Increasing environmental concerns over the past two decades have resulted in regulatory action in North
America, Europe and elsewhere with successively tighter emission standards for both diesel and gasoline
engines. There is a strong interplay between standards and technology – standards drive technology and
new technology enables more stringent standards. For diesel engines, this required changes in the fuel
such as marked decreases in sulfur content, changes in engine design to burn diesel fuel more efficiently
and reductions in emissions through exhaust control technology.
However, while the amount of particulates and chemicals are reduced with these changes, it is not yet
clear how the quantitative and qualitative changes may translate into altered health effects; research into Page 2
IARC: Diesel engines exhaust carcinogenic
IARC, 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon CEDEX 08, France – Tel: +33 (0)4 72 73 84 85 – Fax: +33 (0)4 72 73 85 75
© IARC 2012 – All Rights Reserved.
this question is needed. In addition, existing fuels and vehicles without these modifications will take many
years to be replaced, particularly in less developed countries, where regulatory measures are  currently
also less stringent. It is notable that many parts of the developing world lack regulatory standards, and
data on the occurrence and impact of diesel exhaust are limited.
Conclusions
Dr Christopher Portier, Chairman of the IARC working Group, stated that “The scientific evidence was
compelling and the Working Group’s conclusion was unanimous: diesel engine exhaust causes lung
cancer in humans.” Dr Portier  continued: “Given the additional health impacts from diesel  particulates,
exposure to this mixture of chemicals should be reduced worldwide.“(2)
Dr Kurt Straif, Head of the IARC Monographs Program, indicated that “The main studies that led to this
conclusion were in highly exposed workers. However, we have learned from other carcinogens, such as
radon, that initial studies showing a risk in heavily exposed occupational groups were followed by positive
findings for the general population. Therefore actions to reduce exposures should encompass workers
and the general population.”
Dr Christopher Wild, Director, IARC, said that “while IARC’s remit is to establish the evidence-base for
regulatory decisions at national and international level, today’s conclusion sends a strong signal that
public health action is warranted. This emphasis is needed globally, including among the more vulnerable
populations in developing countries where new technology and protective measures may otherwise take
many years to be adopted.”
Summary evaluation
The summary of the evaluation will appear in The Lancet Oncology as an online publication ahead of print
on June 15, 2012.
(1) JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2012) doi:10.1093/jnci/djs034
http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/03/05/jnci.djs034.abstract; and
JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2012) doi: 10.1093/jnci/djs035
http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/03/05/jnci.djs035.abstract
(2) Dr Portier is Director of the  National Center for Environmental Health and the  Agency for Toxic
Substances and Disease Registry at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA).
For more information, please contact
Dr Kurt Straif, IARC Monographs Section, at +33 472 738 507, or straifk@iarc.fr;
Dr Lamia Tallaa, IARC Monographs Section, at +33 472 738 385, or tallaal@iarc.fr;
Nicolas Gaudin, IARC Communications Group, at +33 472 738 478, or com@iarc.fr;
Fadela Chaib, WHO News Team, at +41 79 475 55 56, or chaibf@who.int.
Link to the audio file posted shortly after the media briefing:
http://terrance.who.int/mediacentre/audio/press_briefings/
About IARC
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of  the World Health Organization. Its
mission is to coordinate and conduct research on the causes of human cancer, the mechanisms of
carcinogenesis, and to develop scientific strategies for cancer control. The Agency is involved in both
epidemiological and laboratory research  and disseminates scientific information through  publications,
meetings, courses, and fellowships.Page 3
IARC: Diesel engines exhaust carcinogenic
IARC, 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon CEDEX 08, France – Tel: +33 (0)4 72 73 84 85 – Fax: +33 (0)4 72 73 85 75
© IARC 2012 – All Rights Reserved.
Annexes
Evaluation groups – Definitions
Group 1: The agent is carcinogenic to humans.
This category is used when there is  sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity  in humans. Exceptionally, an
agent may be placed in this category when evidence of carcinogenicity in humans is less than  sufficient
but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals and strong evidence in exposed
humans that the agent acts through a relevant mechanism of carcinogenicity.
Group 2.
This category includes agents for which, at one extreme, the degree of evidence of carcinogenicity in
humans is almost sufficient, as well as those for which, at the other extreme, there are no human data but
for which there is evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Agents are assigned to either
Group 2A (probably carcinogenic to humans) or Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans) on the basis
of epidemiological and experimental evidence of carcinogenicity and mechanistic and other relevant data.
The terms  probably carcinogenic  and  possibly carcinogenic  have no quantitative significance and are
used simply as descriptors of different levels of evidence of human  carcinogenicity, with  probably
carcinogenic signifying a higher level of evidence than possibly carcinogenic.
 Group 2A: The agent is probably carcinogenic to humans.
This category is used when there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and sufficient
evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. In some cases, an agent may be classified in
this category when there is  inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity  in humans and  sufficient
evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals and strong evidence that the carcinogenesis
is mediated by a mechanism that also operates in humans. Exceptionally, an agent may be
classified in this category solely on the basis of limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. An
agent may be assigned to this category if it clearly belongs, based on mechanistic considerations,
to a class of agents for which one or more members have been classified in Group 1 or Group 2A.
 Group 2B: The agent is possibly carcinogenic to humans.
This category is used for agents for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans
and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. It may also be used
when there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but there is sufficient evidence of
carcinogenicity  in experimental animals. In some instances, an agent for which there is
inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity  in humans and less than  sufficient evidence of
carcinogenicity in experimental animals together with supporting evidence from mechanistic and
other relevant data may be placed in this group. An agent may be classified in this category solely
on the basis of strong evidence from mechanistic and other relevant data.
Group 3: The agent is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.
This category is used most commonly for agents for which the evidence of carcinogenicity is inadequate in
humans and inadequate or limited in experimental animals.
Exceptionally, agents for which the evidence of carcinogenicity is  inadequate in humans but sufficient in
experimental animals may be placed in this category when there is strong evidence that the mechanism of
carcinogenicity in experimental animals does not operate in humans.
Agents that do not fall into any other group are also placed in this category.
An evaluation in Group 3 is not a determination of non‐carcinogenicity or overall safety. It often means that
further research is needed, especially when exposures are widespread or the cancer data are consistent
with differing interpretations. Page 4
IARC: Diesel engines exhaust carcinogenic
IARC, 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon CEDEX 08, France – Tel: +33 (0)4 72 73 84 85 – Fax: +33 (0)4 72 73 85 75
© IARC 2012 – All Rights Reserved.
Group 4: The agent is probably not carcinogenic to humans.
This category is used for agents for which there is evidence suggesting lack of carcinogenicity in humans
and in experimental animals. In some instances, agents for which there is  inadequate evidence of
carcinogenicity  in humans but  evidence suggesting lack of carcinogenicity  in experimental animals,
consistently and strongly supported by a broad range of mechanistic and other relevant data, may be
classified in this group.
Evidence for studies in humans – Definition
As shown previously, the evidence  relevant to carcinogenicity is evaluated using standard terms. For
studies in humans, evidence is defined into one of the following categories:
Sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity: The Working Group considers that a causal relationship has
been established between exposure to the agent and human cancer. That is, a positive relationship has
been observed between the exposure and cancer in studies in which chance, bias and confounding could
be ruled out with reasonable confidence. A statement that there  is  sufficient evidence  is followed by a
separate sentence that identifies the target organ(s) or tissue(s) where an increased risk of cancer was
observed in humans. Identification of a specific target organ or tissue does not preclude the possibility that
the agent may cause cancer at other sites.
Limited evidence of carcinogenicity: A positive association has been observed between exposure to
the agent and cancer for which a causal interpretation is considered by the Working Group to be credible,
but chance, bias or confounding could not be ruled out with reasonable confidence.
Inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity: The available studies are of insufficient quality, consistency or
statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of a causal association
between exposure and cancer, or no data on cancer in humans are available.
Evidence suggesting lack of carcinogenicity: There are several adequate studies covering the full
range of levels of exposure that humans are known to encounter, which are mutually consistent in not
showing a positive association between exposure to the agent and any studied cancer at any observed
level of exposure. The results from these studies alone or combined should have narrow confidence
intervals with an upper limit close to the null value (e.g. a relative risk of 1.0). Bias and confounding should
be ruled out with reasonable confidence, and the studies should have an adequate length of follow‐up. A
conclusion of  evidence suggesting lack of carcinogenicity  is inevitably limited to the cancer sites,
conditions and levels of exposure, and length of observation covered by the available studies. In addition,
the possibility of a very small risk at the levels of exposure studied can never be excluded.
In some instances, the above categories may be used to classify the degree of evidence related to
carcinogenicity in specific organs or tissues.

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About Jim McGoldrick

An Alliance of Residents and Professionals fighting for justice in Australia. Working for people not political parties
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