Diesel engine exhaust and lung cancer: An unproven association

J. E. Muscat, E. L. Wynder

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The risk of lung cancer associated with diesel exhaust has been calculated from 14 case-control or cohort studies. We evaluated the findings from these studies to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to implicate diesel exhaust as a human lung carcinogen. Four studies found increased risks associated with long-term exposure, although two of the four studies were based on the same cohort of railroad workers. Six studies were inconclusive due to missing information on smoking habits, internal inconsistencies, or inadequate characterization of diesel exposure. Four studies found no statistically significant associations. It can be concluded that short-term exposure to diesel engine exhaust (< 20 years) does not have a causative role in human lung cancer. There is statistical but not causal evidence that long-term exposure to diesel exhaust (> 20 years) increases the risk of lung cancer for locomotive engineers, brakemen, and diesel engine mechanics. There is inconsistent evidence on the effects of long-term exposure to diesel exhaust in the trucking industry. There is no evidence for a joint effect of diesel exhaust and cigarette smoking on lung cancer risk. Using common criteria for determining causal associations, the epidemiologic evidence is insufficient to establish diesel engine exhaust as a human lung carcinogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-818
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives
Volume103
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

Fingerprint

Vehicle Emissions
Lung Neoplasms
Carcinogens
Smoking
Railroads
Lung
Mechanics
Habits
Case-Control Studies
Industry
Cohort Studies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

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title = "Diesel engine exhaust and lung cancer: An unproven association",
abstract = "The risk of lung cancer associated with diesel exhaust has been calculated from 14 case-control or cohort studies. We evaluated the findings from these studies to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to implicate diesel exhaust as a human lung carcinogen. Four studies found increased risks associated with long-term exposure, although two of the four studies were based on the same cohort of railroad workers. Six studies were inconclusive due to missing information on smoking habits, internal inconsistencies, or inadequate characterization of diesel exposure. Four studies found no statistically significant associations. It can be concluded that short-term exposure to diesel engine exhaust (< 20 years) does not have a causative role in human lung cancer. There is statistical but not causal evidence that long-term exposure to diesel exhaust (> 20 years) increases the risk of lung cancer for locomotive engineers, brakemen, and diesel engine mechanics. There is inconsistent evidence on the effects of long-term exposure to diesel exhaust in the trucking industry. There is no evidence for a joint effect of diesel exhaust and cigarette smoking on lung cancer risk. Using common criteria for determining causal associations, the epidemiologic evidence is insufficient to establish diesel engine exhaust as a human lung carcinogen.",
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Diesel engine exhaust and lung cancer : An unproven association. / Muscat, J. E.; Wynder, E. L.

In: Environmental health perspectives, Vol. 103, No. 9, 01.01.1995, p. 812-818.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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AB - The risk of lung cancer associated with diesel exhaust has been calculated from 14 case-control or cohort studies. We evaluated the findings from these studies to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to implicate diesel exhaust as a human lung carcinogen. Four studies found increased risks associated with long-term exposure, although two of the four studies were based on the same cohort of railroad workers. Six studies were inconclusive due to missing information on smoking habits, internal inconsistencies, or inadequate characterization of diesel exposure. Four studies found no statistically significant associations. It can be concluded that short-term exposure to diesel engine exhaust (< 20 years) does not have a causative role in human lung cancer. There is statistical but not causal evidence that long-term exposure to diesel exhaust (> 20 years) increases the risk of lung cancer for locomotive engineers, brakemen, and diesel engine mechanics. There is inconsistent evidence on the effects of long-term exposure to diesel exhaust in the trucking industry. There is no evidence for a joint effect of diesel exhaust and cigarette smoking on lung cancer risk. Using common criteria for determining causal associations, the epidemiologic evidence is insufficient to establish diesel engine exhaust as a human lung carcinogen.

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