IARC Diesel Exhaust & Lung Cancer: An Analysis

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The International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC) operates under the auspices of the United Nations World Health Organization with the goal of examining evidence for carcinogenicity (involvement in causing cancer) of specific
exposures. Their belief is that most cancers are linked to environmental factors and are therefore preventable by limiting those, whereas the weight of evidence has shown that most cancers are related to lifestyle (such as smoking or obesity) and genetics or other natural causes (e.g. random mutation.)

Because they are geared toward simpler assessments of hazard and not risk, their findings can be confusing to media and the public. For example, an October, 2015 monograph (volume 114) put processed meat
in the same hazard category as cigarettes and plutonium, even though the actual risk of cancer from eating meat is minute compared to the risks of getting cancer from cigarettes.

This document analyzes their decision regarding diesel emissions and notes there were some alarming flaws in their working group selection process and a number of conflicts of interest.

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