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Pollutants: Diesel Particulate Matter

Diesel exhaust is a mixture of over 450 components, including vapors and fine particles. Diesel engines emit 100 times more sooty particles than gasoline engines and as a result, account from an approximately 26 percent of the total hazardous particulate pollution from fuel combustion in the air, and 66 percent of the particulate pollution from on-road sources. They also produce almost 20 percent of the total nitrogen oxides in outdoor air and 26 percent of the total nitrogen oxides from on-road sources. Nitrogen oxides are a major contributor to ozone production and smog. Health effects include cancer, exacerbation of asthma and other respiratory diseases. Those with the greatest risk include children, the elderly, people who have respiratory problems or who smoke, people who exercise in diesel-polluted areas, and people who work or live near diesel exhaust sources.

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American Lung Association, Upper Midwest Region
490 Concordia Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55103-2441
Phone: 651-227-8014
Fax: 651-227-5459
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