A new study, as part of the Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study on the long-term effects of inhaled diesel exhaust released Tuesday, Jan. 27, shows no evidence of a link between new diesel engine technologies and lung cancer in lab rats.
In fact, the same study uncovered that post-2007 technologies such as diesel particulate filters and ultra-low-sulfur diesel have cut particulate emissions from trucks by 90 percent.
“We are already seeing a transition in America’s roads with over 30 percent of the trucks and buses in use today meeting these new standards, and the trend is growing in Europe as well,” said Dan Greenbaum of the Health Effects Institute in a statement. “These results confirm the great strides that government and industry have made to reduce diesel risk – and argue for even greater efforts to accelerate the replacement of older diesel engines.”
While health-focused studies like this need to be conducted, many are more worried about the effects of EPA regulations and mandates on small business owners who may not have the money to transition to new diesel technologies as easily as bigger companies with larger fleets and more revenue.
“Health-focused studies like this certainly have a role in informing policymakers, but regulatory agencies must also fully and accurately examine the impact of ever-changing regulations on truck purchasers and small-business truckers,” OOIDA Director of Government Affairs Ryan Bowley said.
EPA regulations from 2004 through 2010 added more than $21,000 to the price of a new truck according to research conducted by the American Truck Dealers, part of the National Automobile Dealers, about $15,000 more than EPA estimated.
So while it appears health risks associated with diesel emissions for road transport are likely overstated when compared to industries and household heating systems for example, the cost of meeting the EPA regulations seems to be doing the most damage to people.