Diesel Truckers at Risk of Benzene Exposure

Recent reports have revealed that trucking company workers who are being continuously exposed to diesel exhaust are at high risk of developing various forms of cancer. Benzene, a toxic chemical and known carcinogen, is a commonly used additive in gasoline and for those who spend their day to day lives being exposed to these fumes; the chances of developing cancer are higher.
A national study was recently done regarding truckers and the high risk of cancer and it reportedly found that workers who are exposed to exhaust from vehicles on the highways, city streets and loading docks are at higher risk of developing lung cancer than other workers.
Study Exposes Risk of Cancer
The study, which was analyzed 31,135 worker records, discovered that drivers, who do short-haul pickups and deliveries, including the loading and unloading at ports, had a noticeable increase in the rate of deaths and disease. Dockworkers were also found to have a higher risk, say researchers from UC Berkeley and Harvard who conducted the study.
After results from the study were made public, California’s Air Resources Board decided they were going to me to further discuss the study and its findings. During this meeting, they will be voting on a landmark regulation that aims to reduce the overall risk to the of benzene exposure to the general public from the nearly 1 million diesel trucks that exist in the state.
If this new rule is adopted by state lawmakers, California will be the very first state in the nation to require a replacement of every privately owned, diesel truck that’s now on the road. The law will also hold true for vehicles that are registered in other states and nations.
“This study confirms that truck drivers exposed to diesel have higher lung cancer rates,” explains Dr. John Balmes, who is a professor at UCSF and UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health.

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