Diesel exhaust has been linked to adverse health effects, including exacerbation of asthma symptoms and lung cancer. Increasingly more stringent emissions standards are reducing the concentrations of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in diesel engine exhaust. As part of its core mission, HEI research has evaluated exposure and health effects in the ever changing landscape of engine emissions.
Recently, HEI completed the Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES) to evaluate new technology diesel engine exhaust with stringent PM and NOx controls. Reports include emissions characterization of 2007- and 2010-compliant diesel engines with PM and NOx aftertreatment (ACES Phases 1 and 2, overseen by the Coordinating Research Council), exposure conditions for ACES Phase 3A, chronic exposure to diesel exhaust in rats (HEI Communication 17), and a large number of health outcomes in mice (3-months) and rats (life-time) exposed to diesel exhaust of a 2007-compliant engine in ACES Phase 3B. The Executive Summary of the ACES program provides a comprehensive overview and links to all ACES reports.
Over the years, HEI has also contributed to the question whether diesel exhaust can be linked to lung cancer. Recently, HEI performed a detailed review of recently published major studies about exposure to diesel exposure and lung cancer to examine their suitability for quantitative risk assessment.