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New study links diesel exhaust exposure with ovarian cancer

21 August 2004

Exposure to diesel exhaust may be linked with increased risk of ovarian cancer, according to a new study completed in Finland. The study, which correlated occupational exposure to diesel and gasoline exhaust with a number of cancers other than lung cancer, suggests an exposure-response relation between diesel exhaust and ovarian cancer. It was found that the ovarian cancer risk increased by more than 3.5 times in women with the highest diesel exposure.

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High diesel (or gasoline) exhaust exposure did not correlate with increased bladder cancer, in contradiction to some earlier reports. Slight elevations of bladder and kidney cancer risks were found at the lowest exposure level of engine exhausts, largely among drivers. No effect of the exposures was observed for the other examined types of cancer.

The study was authored by Johannes Guo of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, and co-workers. It was published in the 20 August 2004 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.