Peterborough’s HSE professionals hear about cancer and diesel fumes

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) will explain how exposure to diesel fumes at work can cause cancer at an event in Peterborough today (23 March 2017).

Research suggests that in Britain more than 650 people a year die of lung or bladder cancer as a result of being exposed to diesel fumes at work. Around 800 new cases of cancer linked to diesel exhaust fume exposure are registered each year as well.

Health, safety and environmental professionals from a range of sectors including healthcare, manufacturing and the public sector will be attending the event organised by the Peterborough Environmental Occupational Safety and Health Group (PEOSH), at The Leeton Group from 14:00 – 15.30.

IOSH’s Professional Standards Committee Chair Tim Briggs, will give insight into how diesel fumes can cause cancer and provide delegates with advice on how to control exposure.

Tim said: “Diesel fumes may contain over 10 times the amount of soot particles than in petrol exhaust fumes, and the mixture includes several carcinogenic substances, meaning they have the potential to cause cancer.

“At the very least, short term, high level exposures to diesel exhaust fumes can irritate the eyes and lungs. Continuous exposure to diesel exhaust fumes can cause long term, or chronic, respiratory ill health with symptoms including coughing and feeling breathless.

“At worst, if people are exposed to diesel engine exhaust fumes regularly and over a long period, there is an increased risk of getting lung cancer.”

Tim will also signpost delegates to the free resources IOSH has developed as part of its No Time to Lose campaign which aims to raise awareness of occupational cancer and help business take action.

Tim added: “Health, safety and environmental professionals will find an array of free resources to help educate and inform the workforce on this important topic from the No Time to Lose campaign website.

“The diesel factsheet includes practical advice on how to control exposure. For example, switching to other forms of fuel where possible and replacing old engines with newer versions that have lower emissions.

“By putting in place controls in the workplace now, we can prevent cancer from diesel fumes.”

Barry Grigg, Chairman at PEOSH said:

“We at PEOSH decided to invite IOSH to address our monthly meeting because we felt our members would benefit from the knowing the facts about the potential long term effects on our health from diesel fumes.

“As a very well respected organisation within the health and safety field we also felt that IOSH would provide a balanced viewpoint, which would give our members the tools to influence their employers or clients and ultimately to ensure the health and wellbeing of colleagues, friends and family.”

For more information on IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign and to download the free diesel fumes pack, visit

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Bryan Henesey, Media Officer, +44 (0)116 257 3141 or +44 (0)798 000 4494

Marcus Boocock, Media Officer, +44 (0)116 257 3139 or +44 (0)798 000 4474

Tim Walsh, Head of Communications and Media, +44 (0)116 257 3252 or +44 (0)797 660 4715