EPA Report Links Diesel Engines Loosely with Cancer

Washington, D.C. — A report released Tuesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has suggested that exposure to diesel over any length of time likely can cause cancer, while simultaneously admitting insufficient evidence to support its claim.

"It is reasonable to presume that the hazard extends to environmental exposure levels … [and] the potential human health effects of diesel exhausts is persuasive, even though assumptions and uncertainties are involved," the report states.

The report, entitled Diesel Health Assessment Document, draws on data collected in the past 10 years and has been hailed by environmentalists but questioned by several industry groups.

The report, however insufficient, should help support the EPA’s October diesel regulation, which requires that diesel engines be retrofitted with cleaner-burning fuels.

EPA spokeswoman Steffanie Bell says that the agency expects to publish a rule early next year dealing with diesel exhaust sources, such as construction equipment and hauler trucks.

For more information, visit www.epa.gov.