Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Environmental Quality
Department of Environmental Quality
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
3/16/23  12:56 pm
Commenter: G. Allen Weaver, DVM, PhD, Esq

Toxic Diesel Exhaust
On an equal horsepower basis, Diesel Exhaust is 100 times more toxic than gasoline exhaust even when carbon monoxide is considered.  Diesel Exhaust contains multiple other known carcinogens for humans as determined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization of the United Nations as presented in their List of IARC Group 1 Carcinogens. 
Diesel Exhaust is a mixture of gases, vapors, liquid aerosols and substances made up of particles. 
Diesel Exhaust may contain Carbon (soot), Carbon Monoxide, Carbon Dioxide, Oxygen, Water Vapor, Ammonia, Nitrogen, Oxides of Nitrogen (e.g., Nitrogen Oxide, Nitrogen Dioxide), Oxides of Sulphur (e.g., Sulphur Dioxide), Alcohols, Aldehydes, Ketones, Hydrocarbons,  Aromatic Compounds such as Benzene and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Diesel Particulate Matter; Arsenic,  Benzene, Formaldehyde, Nickel and Toluene. 
Diesel Exhaust is a Group 1 carcinogen causing lung cancer and has a positive association with bladder cancer.  It is also a major source of “Fine-Particle” pollution, especially hazardous to the elderly and people with COPD, emphysema, asthma, plus chronic heart and lung disease.  
Diesel Exhaust particles and gases are suspended in the air and exposure occurs whenever a person inhales them.  These microscopic particles (less than one-fifth as thick as a human hair) are small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and contribute to many health problems. 
Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) is primarily made up of Soot Particles, Carbon, Ash, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Metallic Abrasion Particles and Sulfates with most being Respirable (particles in the air that are breathed-in) that travel deep into the lungs with normal inhalation.   
Exposures are highest where diesel traffic is heaviest, such as along major highways, near major construction sites and large diesel generators. 
People spending time on or near roads and freeways, major construction sites, near large diesel generators, plus truck loading and unloading operations face exposure to higher levels of Diesel Exhaust and face higher health risks with the very young, the very ill and Senior Citizens at greater risk here. 
G. Allen Weaver, DVM, PhD, Esq
Gainesville, VA  20155
CommentID: 212132