Health Assessment Document for Diesel Engine Exhaust (Final 2002)
This assessment examined information regarding the possible health hazards associated with exposure to diesel engine exhaust (DE), which is a mixture of gases and particles.
The assessment concludes that long-term (i.e., chronic) inhalation exposure is likely to pose a lung cancer hazard to humans, as well as damage the lung in other ways depending on exposure. Short-term (i.e., acute) exposures can cause irritation and inflammatory symptoms of a transient nature, these being highly variable across the population.
The assessment's health hazard conclusions are based on exposure to exhaust from diesel engines built prior to the mid-1990s. The health hazard conclusions, in general, are applicable to engines currently in use, which include many older engines. As new diesel engines with cleaner exhaust emissions replace existing engines, the applicability of the conclusions in this Health Assessment Document will need to be reevaluated.
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