Travelling on a diesel train can expose you to far higher levels of harmful particulates than standing beside a busy road, a Danish study has found. Diesel exhaust is associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, as well as other lung and cardiovascular diseases.

Those sitting on carriages being pulled by a diesel engine, especially close to the engine, breathe in a much larger dose of diesel fumes. Measurements revealed that ultrafine particles were 35-fold higher and black carbon or soot six-fold higher inside carriages pulled by diesel trains versus electric.1 Ultrafine particles are often carbon nanoparticles, coated with hydrocarbons and metals.

 

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