(April 16, 2012) — EPA 2007-compliant diesel engines provided “historic improvements” in reducing particulate and nitrogen oxide emissions and have drastically cut down the health related impacts of older diesel engines, according to a new study.
The Health Effects Institute study, billed as the comprehensive study ever undertaken of the health effects of exposure to new technology diesel engines, has found no evidence of gene-damaging effects.
The Advanced Collaborative Engine Study is exposing rats and mice for 16 hours a day to emissions from a heavy-duty diesel engine meeting stringent 2007 US EPA standards, which reduces emissions of fine particles and other pollutants by over 90 percent from levels emitted by older engines.
The study was conducted by the Health Effects Institute in collaboration with the Coordinating Research Council. The Health Effects Institute is an independent, non-profit research institute funded jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and industry.
The study found that exposures lasting one, three, and in some cases up to twelve months had effects on only a few of the many health markers tested.
One of a few effects that were reported for the rats was mild hyperplasia in the lungs – a symptom of exposure to nitrogen oxides in the engine exhaust, which was virtually eliminated in new generation, 2010 US EPA standards now in effect.