Death by Breath: How, why diesel is dirty

  1. When an engine burns diesel, it releases a mixture of particulates and gaseous materials.
  2. These include benzene, arsenic, nitrogen dioxide and some particulate matter.
  3. Inhalation of diesel fumes from vehicles and diesel generator sets causes cancer by breaking the DNA of various cells in the body.
  4. PM <= 2.5 microns in diameter, enters the lungs and penetrates the lower respiratory tract and blood vessels around the heart.
  5. NO2 from the exhaust can damage lung tissues irreversibly, lower one’s immunity and cause brain damage.
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