Just how bad is diesel exhaust?
By CelloMom On Cars on July 08, 2012
It's no secret that I am a proponent of cars fueled by clean diesel, so much so that since this spring a clean-diesel car occupies our driveway (I believe in transparency and want to put this disclosure right up front). So when, earlier this month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reclassified diesel exhaust as a carcinogen (from a "probable carcinogen) I needed to find out what than means, exactly. After all, my children occupy that driveway too.
And speaking of children, the nation's fleet of iconic yellow school buses runs largely on diesel. So moms like me need to educate ourselves on the risks of diesel fumes.
Diesel exhaust, like all engine exhaust, contains a number of volatile chemicals that aren't good for you. But the part that leads to a risk of lung cancer is the particulate matter (PM) emitted by diesel engines, known to most of us as soot: that black cloud that until recently is characteristic of 18-wheelers and tractors, especially at a cold start.
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