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Are there potential health effects associated with diesel emissions? What is EPA doing about diesel emissions?

Diesel exhaust and health effects

  • Diesel exhaust contains significant levels of small particles, known as fine particulate matter. Fine particles are so small that several thousand of them could fit on the period at the end of this sentence.
  • Fine particles pose a significant health risk because they can pass through the nose and throat and lodge themselves in the lungs. These fine particles can cause lung damage and premature death. They can also aggravate conditions such as asthma and bronchitis.
  • Nationwide, particulate matter, especially fine particles, is responsible for thousands of premature deaths every year.
  • EPA has determined that diesel exhaust is a likely human carcinogen. Diesel exhaust can also contribute to other acute and chronic health effects.

EPA and diesel emissions:

  • "EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) promotes clean air strategies by working with manufacturers, fleet operators, air quality professionals, environmental and community organizations, and state and local officials to reduce diesel emissions." In addition, the "EPA offers many strategies and programs to help make diesel engines operate more cleanly, and funding to help build diesel emission reduction programs that improve air quality and protect public health". 

Other informative resources:

National Clean Diesel Campaign

Clean Diesel Trucks and Buses Rule (the "2007 Highway Rule")

Health Assessment Document for Diesel Engine Exhaust

The Fuels and Fuel Additives: Diesel Fuel

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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 23002-14200
  • Date Created: 10:31:2005
  • Last Modified Since: 09:03:2015
  • Viewed: 2420

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