A new research report has been released and demonstrates reductions in exhaust gases have been effective in the improving the environment, in health terms. The final report of the multi-year Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES) conducted by the Boston USA-based Health Effects Institute (HEI) evaluated how well new technology diesel engines achieved the expected emissions reductions.
The study shows the reduction has had the effect of improving air quality for public health and exposure to new technology diesel exhaust does not cause any increase in the risk of lung cancer or other significant adverse health effects in study animals.
“The significance of this study and its conclusions cannot be overstated,” said Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “The results of this new study verify the environmental benefits of the new clean diesel technology, which have near-zero emissions for nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons (HC) and particulate matter (PM). And while this study focused on heavy duty truck emissions, the new clean diesel technology has the potential for impacting all sectors, including passenger cars, agriculture, construction, maritime and transportation.
“The comprehensive nature of this study by such an authoritative body as the Health Effects Institute is extremely significant. It’s also important to highlight that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the California Air Resources Board, the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the US Federal Highway Administration are sponsors of this study in conjunction with the manufacturers of emissions control equipment.”
The study, to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of lifetime exposure to new technology diesel exhaust, has found no evidence of carcinogenic lung tumours. It also confirmed concentrations of particulate matter and toxic air pollutants emitted from new engines are more than 90 per cent lower than emissions from traditional older diesel engines.
The study exposed laboratory rats 80 hours a week, for up to 30 months, to emissions from a heavy duty diesel engine meeting the 2007 US EPA exhaust emissions standard. In contrast to previous health studies, the ACES study found that lifetime exposure did not induce tumours or pre-cancerous changes in the lung and did not increase tumours related to diesel engines in any other tissue.
A few mild changes were seen in the lungs, consistent with long-term exposure to NO2, an emission which has been further substantially reduced in US EPA 2010 and Euro 6.
“These results confirm the great strides that government and industry have made to reduce diesel risk, and argue for even greater efforts to accelerate the replacement of older diesel engines,” said Dan Greenbaum, President of HEI.