Mortality among personnel exposed to diesel exhaust

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Some epidemiological studies have suggested a carcinogenic effect from diesel exhausts and also an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This cohort study of bus garage employees was undertaken to elucidate further the health effects of diesel exhaust exposure with regard to mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease. The cohort encompassed 694 men and was followed from 1951 through December 1983. The results showed no significant differences between observed and expected number of deaths in cancer or cardiovascular disease in total or with regard to different degrees of exposure or various requirements of exposure and induction-latency time. The so-called healthy worker effect was relatively weak for cardiovascular disease, but this phenomenon showed no pattern in relation to exposures. The relatively small size of the cohort does not allow for the exclusion of a slightly increased incidence of cancer of certain sites, however.