Rotherham health expert warns of diesel danger

ROTHERHAM’S public health director has urged garage workers to be more vigilant after it was confirmed that diesel fumes cause cancer.

Dr John Radford said employees working around the fuel should ensure employers follow all the health and safety advice to reduce exposure.

It follows a report by the World Health Organization which concluded that exhausts were a definite cause of lung cancer and can cause bowel tumours.

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Dr Radford said: “The advice to people working around diesel is for them to reduce their exposure to the fumes as much as possible.

“Modern engines are much better than the older ones but garages and employers should ensure they follow all the relevant safety advice.”

A study by Dr Debra Silverman for the USA’s National Cancer Institute found non-smoking miners heavily exposed to diesel fumes had seven times the lung cancer risk.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer—part of the WHO—has now labelled the exhaust fumes as definitely carcinogenic to humans.

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Dr Radford said: “In Rotherham we have sizeable numbers of people living near motorways and there are plans to expand the M1.

“The problem with diesel is there is a background level, which people can do very little about beyond reducing traffic flows and vehicle speeds.”