Diesel fumes

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) have classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence that exposure is associated with an increased risk for lung cancer.

The Group found that diesel exhaust is a cause of lung cancer (sufficient evidence) and also noted a positive association (limited evidence) with an increased risk of bladder cancer.

Other petrol exhaust fumes (i.e. from non leaded petrol) are considered by the IARC to be possibly carcinogenic.

Should your employees be exposed to diesel exhaust fumes through the course of their work (for example by using diesel powered equipment, working within a vehicle repair shop or depot) they will need a suitable and sufficient COSHH assessment. In addition, an assessment of their actual exposure may be required; this is where monitoring under COSHH Regulation 10 can be done.

We can assist you with your assessment of exposure to fumes through our CMS system and via monitoring techniques. We can monitor and provide you with reliable data using a combination of monitoring strategies in line with industry best practice (including the assessment of presence of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, total particulates etc).

We can also advise upon your workplace controls based on possible exposure and work with you to ensure that employees are not over exposed to these hazardous fumes.

The findings of the IARC report can be found at the following link: http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2012/pdfs/pr213_E.pdf.