In a study of non-metal miners in the U.S., federal government
scientists reported that heavy exposure to diesel exhaust increased risk
of death from lung cancer. The study was carried out by researchers
from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National
Institutes of Health, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (NIOSH), part of the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, both parts of Health and Human Services (HHS). The results
were distributed in two papers on March 2 from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and they will be posted to the JNCI website on March 5.
The research, all part of the Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study,
was designed to evaluate cancer risk from diesel exhaust, particularly
as it may relate to lung cancer, among 12,315 workers at eight non-metal
mining facilities. The facilities were located in Missouri (1 limestone
mine), New Mexico (3 potash mines), Ohio (1 salt mine), and Wyoming (3
trona mines, which process an ore used in soda ash).
The investigators selected underground mines for their study setting
because the heavy equipment used in these mines frequently runs on