On Dec. 9, the Air Resources Board (ARB) announced new evidence that trucking industry workers who have had regular exposure to diesel and other types of vehicle exhaust showed an elevated risk of lung cancer with increasing years of work.
The new research reveals that trucking workers with an estimated 20 years on the job had an increased risk of lung cancer; long haul workers, dockworkers, pickup and delivery drivers, and people who worked as both dockworkers and pickup and delivery drivers had an increased risk compared to workers in other job categories, such as clerks and mechanics.
This latest data on the cause of death in trucking industry workers comes from a nationwide long term study, "Lung Cancer and Vehicle Exhaust in Trucking Industry Workers" by E. Garshick and colleagues, which assesses lung cancer deaths by job type in 31,135 Teamsters Union members from 1985 to 2000.
Within the study period there were 4,306 deaths seen in the study group with 779 cases of lung cancer. In addition, it implies that a reduction of diesel particulate matter will have health benefits for the trucking industry and the general public who live, commute, or work near diesel vehicles.
At the December meeting, board members will hear public comments and vote on the Statewide Truck and Bus Regulation. If the regulation is passed, diesel trucker owners will be required to install diesel exhaust filters on their rigs starting in 2010, with nearly all vehicles upgraded by 2014.
For citations and more information on the study, please refer to the following link at www.arb.ca.gov/board/ma/2008/ma121108.htm and to review the evolution of the proposed diesel truck rule, please refer to www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onrdiesel/onrdiesel.htm