year an estimated 130 Australians are diagnosed with lung cancer as a result of
exposure to toxic diesel fumes while at work, according to the Cancer Council.
to diesel fumes is Australia's second-most prevalent work-based cancer-causing
agent," said Terry Slevin, Chair of Cancer Council Australia's
Occupational and Environmental Cancer Committee.
‘The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer recently upgraded its classification of diesel exhaust to a Group 1 carcinogen, confirming that it is an established cause of cancer in humans.’
estimated that around 1.2 million Australians are exposed to diesel engine
exhaust at work each year and that 130 workers each year are diagnosed with
lung cancer as a result of their exposure on the job, he said.
the high number of workers exposed to diesel fumes, few are aware of its health
hazards - something Mr Slevin wants changed.
of the risks of exposures like asbestos and UV radiation is increasing, and is
reflected in gradual improvements in work safety practices. By contrast,
awareness of the hazards of exposure to diesel fumes is low, especially in
relation to the potential harms," he said.
most at risk include those who work with diesel motor vehicles including buses,
tractors, trains and forklifts, especially in enclosed spaces like garages and
workshops. There are also risks for people who work with diesel operated
generators, compressors or power plants.
simple steps, such as winding up the window and turning on the air con while
driving a diesel vehicle, can reduce your cancer risk, said Mr Slevin.