As I research for blog posts, I’ve been keeping notes on research describing the acute and chronic children’s health problems linked to the toxins in diesel exhaust.
So far, my (incomplete) list includes anxiety, attention problems, autism, birth defects, brain cancer, depression, emotional problems, compulsivity, insulin resistance and diabetes, leukemia, low birth weight, lung damage, mental illness, obesity, preterm birth, and reduced intelligence.
The toxins suspected of causing these diseases include particulate matter, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). These toxins have sources other than diesel exhaust, However, in most urban areas, diesel exhaust is a major or the primary source of these chemicals.
While linking these toxins to these children’s health maladies does not prove causality, the researchers have done their best to control for other variables, and often understand the mechanisms through which they could do this damage, so it seems likely that these pollutants are a cause of some if not most or all of them.
Please check out the notes below, let me know of any errors, omissions, or opportunities for improvement, and consider this question:
Given the horrible toll of these diseases, and the fact that these toxins are spewed into our air by diesel exhaust engines that could be replaced by zero emissions or low emissions technologies, why are we still allowing dirty diesel to be burned?
Zero Emissions Now!