A study on the effects of diesel engine exhaust on a large group of individuals has been delayed due to the requests of industry and government officials.
The study examines 12,000 miners who have been exposed to diesel fumes, paying specific attention to the presence or lack of presence of lung cancer in the miners. The study, performed by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, is an 11.5 million dollar project.
If a link is found between the diesel engine fumes and cancer, there will be serious consequences.
A study from Environmental Health Perspectives in 2004 found increased lung cancer death rates in U.S. railroad workers.
And though miners are the only ones getting studied, people who live near ports, rail ways, and highways experience similar fumes. Diesel exhaust is said to be laced with benzene, arsenic, and formaldehyde, all carcinogens.
The industry group and House committee asked to look over the study data before it went public. U.S. District Judge Richard Haik agreed upon the right of the 2 groups to review the study information before it was published. The judge even went so far as to hold the Department of Health and Human Services in contempt for not handing over all of the information.
At this point, no information on the study or papers that were written based on the study can be seen. If the legal dispute does not get resolved, publication of the study could be postponed indefinitely.