IARC: Diesel Engine Exhaust is Carcinogenic

Published June 21, 2012

On June 12, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). The new classification is based on sufficient evidence that exposure to diesel engine exhaust is associated with increased lung cancer risk. Previously, in 1988, IARC had classified diesel exhaust as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A).

The National Toxicology Program’s Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition lists diesel exhaust particulates as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” OSHA also has chemical sampling information available for diesel exhaust. For more information on IARC’s evaluation of diesel and gasoline engine exhausts, visit the IARC website.