Trucking company workers are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer due to regular exposure to diesel exhaust, say researchers.
The research team from University of California in Berkeley and Harvard found that drivers and dockworkers have a higher risk of lung cancer due to continuous exposure to diesel exhaust from vehicles on highways, city streets and loading docks.
According to the study published by San Francisco Chronicle, short-haul drivers were at a greater risk than long haul drivers.
Short-haul drivers, who do pickups and deliveries, including loading and unloading containers at ports and working at freight-delivery companies, had the highest rate of deaths and disease, reports Chinaview.cn.
They leave their windows open are exposed to the exhaust and fresh, newly released particles have a greater potential to cause mutations of DNA.
While, on the other hand long-haul drivers were at lower risk probably because they are protected when they shut their windows.
The fine particles in the exhaust enter lung tissue, where they can accumulate in the lungs and lymph nodes.
High concentrations can cause respiratory diseases, and people with asthma, heart disease and emphysema can worsen if exposed to the exhaust.
Long- term exposure leads to chronic obstructive lung disease as well as lung cancer.
The researchers analysed 31,135 worker records found a higher rate of lung cancer among these certain categories.