Boston air: half a cigarette a day

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    Boston air: half a cigarette a day

    Research at NIH shows diesel smoke causes lung cancer, based on U.S. mining workers. [ Unattributed, Associated Press, Study links heavy diesel exhaust to lung cancer, Boston Globe, March 2, 2012, at http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/health/articles/2012/03/02/study_links_heavy_diesel_exhaust_to_lung_cancer/]

    Cancer risks from the maximum diesel smoke allowed in U.S. mines compare with risks of smoking about a pack of cigarettes a day. Eastern Massachusetts air has around a fortieth as much fine carbon soot as allowed in mines, so breathing the air here may be comparable to smoking half a cigarette a day.

    There is good evidence that lung cancer risk from cigarette smoking grows steadily with the amount smoked, leveling off for very heavy smokers. If cancer risks from diesel smoke behave the same way, then the diesel smoke in eastern Massachusetts may cause around 100 cancer deaths per year among the 4 million residents.

     
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    Re: Boston air: half a cigarette a day

    Hey research says a lot of things. They are not proven. Research says a lot of fukushima folks should be sick. Not yet. Research has not tried to demonstrate the ability of the populace to clear regular toxins from their system. This is a critical measure used in low dose toxin experiments. There are suggestions from large scale statistics that regular low dose is not an issue for risk. But the argument is what is low dose.
     
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    Risks of lung cancer from smoke

    Readers unfamiliar with the background, as the previous one clearly is, might not know the difficulty of showing that diesel smoke causes cancer. While the hazard had been suspected for over 40 years, previous work either involved only laboratory animals, or it did not have enough participants or exposure to prove that diesel smoke causes cancer in people.

    Unfortunately, mine workers are numerous enough and their exposure to diesel smoke is high enough that their experience showed diesel smoke had caused lung cancers. [ Debra T. Silverman, et al., The diesel exhaust in miners study: a nested case-control study of lung cancer and diesel exhaust. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 104:1–14, 2012, at http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/03/05/jnci.djs034.full.pdf ]

    The diesel engine industry was so alarmed about the results that they prosecuted a federal lawsuit, trying to stop the information assembled at the National Cancer Institute from reaching the public. They failed, and the federal government then paid "open access" fees to the journal publishing the results to make them freely available to the public.

    With such problems, there is no threshold level of exposure below which risk disappears. Instead, there is strong evidence that the lung cancer risks from cigarette smoking grow steadily with the amounts smoked, leveling off for very heavy smokers. If cancer risks from diesel smoke behave the same way, then the diesel smoke in eastern Massachusetts may cause around 100 cancer deaths per year among the 4 million residents.

     

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