INJURED AT WORK DUE TO DIESEL FUME EXPOSURE?
Diesel engines are used to run countless vehicles, machines, and equipment throughout the United States. Unfortunately, the exhaust created by diesel engines are laden with harmful chemicals, including carbon monoxide and benzene. Studies suggest that exposure to diesel exhaust can cause severe health problems, including lung cancer.
Unfortunately, increased exposure to diesel exhaust and fumes largely occurs while on the job. Without the use of proper protective gear, diesel fumes can cause serious and life-changing injuries and illnesses in workers.
IS DIESEL EXHAUST CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not classified diesel exhaust as a definite carcinogen to humans, or Group A. The EPA maintains that diesel exhaust falls into Group B, or “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has determined that diesel exhaust should be treated as a human carcinogen.
Other agencies across the world have determined that diesel exhaust is indeed carcinogenic to humans, including the World Health Organization (WHO). Based on evidence pointing towards an increased risk of lung cancer, WHO has designated diesel exhaust as a carcinogen. The organization’s cancer research agency also believes there is evidence associating diesel exhaust with bladder cancer. In June 2012, WHO changed diesel exhaust’s classification from Group 2 to a Group 1 known human carcinogen.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH EFFECTS OF DIESEL EXHAUST EXPOSURE?
Short-term exposure to diesel fumes can cause several acute injuries and illnesses, including:
- Irritation of the eye, nose, and throat
- Asthmatic attacks
Long-term, unprotected exposure to diesel exhaust fumes on the job may increase the risk of serious, life-threatening conditions, including:
- Lung cancer
- Obstructive lung disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Cardiopulmonary disease
- Respiratory disease
Lung cancer is the major disease believed to be caused by exposure to diesel exhaust. Workers in certain industries have been found to have higher lung cancer fatality rates than workers that have not been exposed to diesel exhaust. In addition, some studies have found links between diesel exhaust and other cancers, including bladder, larynx, esophagus, stomach, and pancreas.
DIESEL EXHAUST IN THE WORKPLACE
The highest exposure of diesel exhaust occurs at the workplace. People in the following industries may be at an increased risk of diesel exhaust exposure:
- Construction workers
- Heavy equipment operators
- Oil and gas workers
- Railroad workers
- Tunnel workers
- Loading dock workers
- Truck drivers
- Farm workers
- Automobile mechanics
- Tollbooth workers
DEVELOPED A SERIOUS ILLNESS AT WORK? CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED INJURY ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one developed a serious illness after being exposed to diesel exhaust while on the job, contact Thomas J. Henry. Diesel exhaust exposure has been linked to many life-threatening diseases and cancer. When employers fail to provide a safe work environment for employees, employees are put at an increased danger of severe injury. Our experienced workplace injury attorneys will pursue every legal option available to ensure you are in the best position to achieve the compensation you deserve for your on-the-job injury or illness. Call us today — available 24/7, nights and weekends — for a free case review.