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Gil Friedlander
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Gil Friedlander
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June 18, 2012

IARC newly classifies diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans.

Another win for emissions standards updates!

After a meeting of international experts last week, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) has classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans.

This is after nearly 25 years since the last statement, when the IARC classified diesel exhaust as probably carcinogenic to humans in 1988. The decision was based on evidence proving that exposure to the exhaust is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.

Who is affected?

Exposed workers have the most risk. Those include railway workers, truck drivers, and mechanics, but the general public should also be concerned to a lesser extent.

What about exposure to electromagnetic waves?

The IARC has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on an increased risk of glioma, a type of malignant cancer of the brain associated with the use of wireless phones. Dr. Jonathan Samet of the University of Southern California and Chairman of the Working Group, said, "the data, which continue to accumulate, are sufficient to conclude... that it could be a risk, and should therefore closely monitor the possible link between cell phones and cancer risk." According to IARC Director Christopher Wild, "until such information is available, it is important to take practical measures to reduce exposure, such as using hands-free kits or text messages."

What kinds of practical steps to reduce its exposure to waves emitted by mobile?

  • Keep the phone in airplane mode when you do not need to be 'online.'
  • Prefer SMS, text messages and emails to lengthy voice calls.
  • Avoid areas where network coverage is poor like elevators or stairwells, where the phone will work at full power to access the network signal.
  • Avoid calling when traveling at higher speeds or in tight spaces like in a car, train, etc.
  • Monitor your exposure in real time with tawkon to be alerted when electromagnetic wave emissions are high.

The free tawkon app is compatible with ALL Android smartphones, including Android 4.0 ICS and the latest generation of smartphones (Samsung S3 Galaxy, HTC X One, One S HTC, Xperia P, S Xperia, Samsung S2 Galaxy, Galaxy Rating, and more).  

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