Cancer causing vehicles encouraged in UK coal mines

The UK encouraged the use of diesel-exhaust belching Free Steering Vehicles (FSVs) in UK coal mines, at a time US authorities and unions were discouraging their use because of a potential cancer link. ‘Unstitching the pit rules’, a feature in hazards magazine, notes: “The Mines Inspectorate’s view is that FSVs could help to reduce the accident rate in haulage, but neither British Coal nor the Inspectorate seem to have seriously considered the health hazard of diesel exhaust fumes. The [US] National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as long ago as 1976 that diesel powered vehicles should not be introduced further into US coal mines. NIOSH was concerned about the known cancer-causing agents in diesel exhaust emissions and the potentially serious health effects of exhaust emissions combined with coal dust. The United Mineworkers of America have banned diesel FSVs from all union-organised mines.” In June 2012, IARC rated diesel exhaust as a group 1 human carcinogen.

Unstitching the pit rules, Hazards, number 14, June 1987.

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