Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Toxicity of Diesel Exhaust Implications for Primary Care

Diesel fuel and the products of its combustion represent one of the toxins most commonly encountered by people living in both urban and rural areas of the world. As nations become more heavily populated, there will be increasing reliance on diesel fuel to power mass transportation and commercial vehicles, as well as heavy machinery involved in construction, farming, and mining. The majority of patients who present to urban primary care clinics and emergency departments will have had significant chronic exposure to diesel exhaust because most use and/or live near busy streets and highways. Furthermore, those who operate or work or live near diesel-powered machinery will have even more toxic exposure. Primary care physicians should be aware of the acute and chronic deleterious clinical effects of diesel exhaust. In this article we review the toxicity and myriad health problems associated with diesel exhaust.

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