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In addition to the people living side by side with sources of diesel pollution, another group of people faces equally high exposure. The dockworkers responsible for loading and unloading ships at port, the drivers who haul cargo from port to destination, the railroad workers on the many trains that chug along rail lines, and countless other workers often face the highest exposure to diesel exhaust and other job-related health and safety hazards. The health effects on these workers are more undercompensated expenses in the freight transport industry. CARB notes that “over 30 human epidemiological studies have investigated the potential carcinogenicity of diesel exhaust. These studies, on average, found that long-term occupational exposures to diesel exhaust were associated with a 40 percent increase in the relative risk of lung cancer.” Dockworkers, railroad workers, and truck drivers are three high-risk groups. Several studies have documented the link between railroad workers exposed to diesel exhaust on the job and lung cancer. The U.S. EPA has noted “typical” exposure levels for railroad workers can be considerably higher than the California statewide average. Several studies have found excess lifetime cancer risk for truck drivers—some as high as 10 times above what the Occupational Safety & Health Administration considers to be acceptable risk levels.

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Unless otherwise notes, for citations for the above information, see Paying With Our Health: The Real Cost of Freight Transportation in California.
For additional information about the health effects of diesel, see http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/diesel/diesel-health.htm
and http://oehha.ca.gov/public_info/facts/dieselfacts.html.

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Health, Environmental Justice, Labor, Other Community Impacts,
The Community Speaks Out