One of the most surprising discoveries in recent years is the negative effect that continued exposure to diesel fuels can have on truck drivers.
Diesel fuel is a petroleum product. Its use is widespread – and is an energy source for a variety of products including automobiles, generators, light-duty and heavy-duty trucks, and railroad locomotives.
Chemically speaking, diesel fuel is a mixture of petroleum compounds and is produced more cheaply than gasoline – which makes it an attractive alternative. Diesel exhaust is a mixture of gases and tiny particles of a variety of noxious substances including carbon dioxide and monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur compounds, formaldehyde, benzene, volatile organic compounds, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), methanol, and other gases.
As an aside – diesel exhaust also releases greenhouse gases that have been shown to affect climate change.
Diesel fumes have been identified as carcinogenic and can have negative health affects both short and long term.
Immediate adverse physical exposure can irritate eyes, throat, and lungs; cause light-headedness, headaches, heartburn, weakness, numbness, chest problems, nausea, and vomiting. Too, it can exacerbate emphysema, asthma, allergies and other ailments.
It can also cause persistent and continual respiratory problems such as bronchitis both separately and in conjunction with smoking or exposure to other cancer causing agents such as asbestos. Finally, it can lead to irreversible kidney damage and trouble with blood clotting.
If you are feeling ill when exposed to diesel fumes – immediately seek medical help.
Greg Baumgartner is a truck accident lawyer helping truck accident victims seek civil justice.