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Re: E-M:/ EPA Report Tuesdsay: Diesel Exhaust Kills

Enviro-Mich message from sgutt@umich.edu

This findings of the report are also of interest on another front.  Many 
automakers would love to sell lots of "advanced"-diesel engine automobiles 
here.  As one defense against raising CAFE standards, they try to compare 
the superior mileage of current diesel engines over gasoline engines, and 
complain that they are not allowed to include them in calculating their 
fleet averages.  They are able to factually tout that the new diesels are 
much cleaner than the old ones in terms of quantities of nitrogen oxides, 
hydrocarbons and particulate produced.

Unfortunately, the new engines emit particulates that are much smaller than 
the old engines do, and it is generally accepted that these 
microparticulates are the most damaging to human and other animal lungs. 
Thus, even modern diesels may be much more of an environmental and public 
health hazard than gasoline engines are, and any mileage comparison between 
the two should take the current knowledge of the dangers of 
microparticulates into account.


--On Wednesday, September 04, 2002 7:38 AM -0400 David Holtz 
<david.holtz@sierraclub.org> wrote:

> * Clean Clean DocumentEmail MicrosoftInternetExplorer4
> A U.S. EPA emissions study released Tuesday and reported by the AP and
> ABC News links diesel exhaust with cancer in humans and should kill a
> plan to build the largest freight terminal of its kind that would
> bring16,000 diesel trucks into highly populated residential areas of
> Detroit and Dearborn.   But will it?
> The EPA&#8217;s study said tests show strong evidence that diesel exhaust
> poses a health risk to humans.  "Overall, the evidence for a potential
> cancer hazard to humans resulting from chronic inhalation exposure to
> (diesel emissions) is persuasive," according to the  study.
> The Michigan Department of Transportation&#8217;s proposed Detroit
> intermodal Freight Terminal (DIFT), covering seven miles and 840 acres,
> would concentrate too much diesel exhaust into an area already hard hit
> by air pollution.  The Detroit City Council voted unanimously to reject
> the DIFT but MDOT put out a press release saying the project would
> continue.
> The EPA report mirrors conclusions made previously in documents from
> various world health agencies and studies in California and is
> particularly significant because the EPA is the federal agency that
> regulates diesel emissions under the Clean Air Act.
> The Bush Administration is considering a Clinton-era proposed rule that
> would significantly toughen emissions rules for diesel engines.  But even
> if the new rule were adopted, it would not apply to diesel engines on the
> road or manufactured today.
> The EPA report reiterated that environmental exposure to diesel exhausts
> poses "a chronic respiratory hazard to humans" in the long term including
> increased asthma and other respiratory problems. In some urban areas
> diesel exhausts account for as much as a quarter of the airborne
> microscopic soot, the report said.
> As for cancer, the report noted occupational health studies and tests on
> animals that showed diesel emissions to be a carcinogen, a cancer-causing
> substance. While there remain uncertainties, the report continued, "it is
> reasonable to presume that the hazard extends to environmental exposure
> levels" as well.
> "The overall evidence for potential human health effects of diesel
> exhausts is persuasive," the report said.
> For the Associated Press report of the EPA study go to:
> http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=542&ncid=751&e=10&u=/ap/
> 20020903/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/diesel_exhaust_cancer

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