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Learn About Diesel Impacts

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Overview

Diesel pollution contains 40 of the toxics monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for air quality. It is a mixture of black carbon, toxic gases, and tiny particles, that when inhaled can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat as well as increases in asthma attacks, heart disease, lung disease, and other respiratory illnesses. Recent studies have determined a link between particulate matter exposure and adult diabetes. Exposure to diesel pollution can also be attributed to an increased risk for cancer and premature death. In fact, according to the California Air Resources Board , “Diesel emissions are the #1 air toxics cancer risk in the United States.”

Everyone’s exposure to diesel pollution is different. However, certain populations suffer greater health risks and impacts. Those vulnerable populations include children, the elderly, as well as people already living with respiratory and heart illnesses. Exposure to diesel pollution is cumulative: the more we are exposed throughout our lifetimes, the higher our risks. It is never too late to prevent further exposure and reduce risks. For more information on the health impacts of diesel exhaust, click here. For more information the climate impacts of diesel exhaust, click here.

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