Researchers have found a link between lung cancer deaths and heavy worker exposure to diesel exhaust in non-metal mines in the United States.
Scientists from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) studied 12,315 workers at eight non-metal mining facilities in Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio and Wyoming.
They determined that the risk of developing lung cancer among underground miners who were heavily exposed to diesel exhaust was five times that of workers with the lowest diesel exhaust exposures.
For underground miners who had never smoked, but had the highest levels of diesel exposure, their risk of dying from lung cancer was seven times greater than that of non-smokers in the lowest exposure category.
The investigators chose underground mines for their study setting because heavy equipment used in those mines frequently runs on diesel fuel.