Diesel Engine Exhaust and Cancer in Mining


Paul Demers, Cancer Care Ontario; Joanne Kim, Occupational Cancer research Centre; Victoria Arrandale, Occupational Cancer Research Centre; Kate Jardine, Occupational Cancer Research Centre

In 2012 diesel engine exhaust (DEE) was classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and is one of the most common workplace carcinogens internationally.  We estimate that approximately 2.4% of lung cancers (n=560) and a suspected 2.7% of bladder cancers (n=200) are attributable to occupational exposure to DEE annually in Canada.  High levels of exposure to DEE in mining result in a disproportionate number of cancers in this sector (approximately 220 lung and 20 suspected bladder cancers annually).  These could be prevented by reducing the number of workers exposed and level of exposure.