Unions have called for urgent action to protect workers and the public from diesel exhaust fumes after the common workplace hazard was confirmed as a proven cause of cancer in humans. An expert panel convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a United Nations body, announced on 11 June 2012 that diesel had been reclassified as a top rated ‘Group 1’ carcinogen. The UK union confederation TUC said: “This research proves categorically what many unions have claimed for years which is that exposure to diesel exhaust is a significant workplace killer. Unfortunately many employers see diesel exposure as being something they can do nothing about. This is not the case.” They industry lobby was accused of using dirty tricks to undermine the case for the higher diesel cancer rating.
IARC news release, 12 June 2012. IARC Monographs – volume 105, Diesel and gasoline engine exhausts and some nitroarenes. The Pump Handle and related article on the industry’s bid to undermine the evidence. BBC News Online. Risks 560.