Some of us have always had the strong feeling that exhaust fumes could be more toxic than most people imagined. The World Health Organization (WHO) on June 12th said that exhaust fumes from diesel engines do cause cancer.
France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the WHO, reclassified diesel exhausts from its group 2A of probable carcinogens to its group 1 of substances that have definite links to cancer. This announcement has caused lots of concern in the auto industry.
The experts said their decision was unanimous and based on “compelling” scientific evidence and urged people worldwide to reduce their exposure to diesel fumes as much as possible as the fumes definitely cause lung cancer and may also cause tumours in the bladder.
The decision was the result of a week-long meeting of independent experts who assessed the latest scientific evidence on the cancer-causing potential of diesel and gasoline exhausts.
It puts diesel exhaust fumes in the same risk category as a number of other noxious substances including asbestos, arsenic, mustard gas, alcohol and tobacco.
This would be of major concern to Nigeria, especially since their are no strong enforcement measures to check exhaust fume pollution in the country.