Diesel engine exhaust


Quantitative Assessment of Cancer Risk from Exposure to Diesel Engine Emissions

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Quantitative estimates of lung cancer risk from exposure to diesel engine emissions were developed using data from three chronic bioassays with Fischer 344 rats. uman target organ dose was estimated with the aid of a comprehensive dosimetry model. This model accounted for rat-human differences in deposition efficiency, normal particle clearance rates, transport of particles to lung-associated lymph nodes, respiration rates, and lung surface area, as well as high-dose inhibition of particle clearance. ecent evidence indicates that the inert carbon core of the diesel particulate matter is likely to be the primary source of carcinogenicity. The epithelial tissue lining the alveoli and lower airways is the primary target site for induction of lung tumors. Dose was therefore based upon the concentration of carbon particulate matter per unit lung surface area. Unit risk estimates were developed using either a time-to-tumor or a linearized multistage model. The unit risk estimates, defined as the 95% upper confidence limit of the cancer risk from continuous lifetime exposure to 1 ug/m3 of diesel exhaust particulate matter, varied from 1.0 to 4.6 x 10 with a geometric mean of 1.7 x 10-5.


Pepelko, W. AND C. Chen. Quantitative Assessment of Cancer Risk from Exposure to Diesel Engine Emissions. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/J-93/188 (NTIS PB93222081), 1993.

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Additional Information

Regulatory Toxicology & Pharmacology 17:52-65, 1993

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