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Diesel fuel kills more than 20,000 people a year, group says



Published: Wed, February 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

More than 20,000 Americans die prematurely each year as the result of illnesses triggered by pollution from diesel engines used in buses, trucks and construction and farm equipment, according to a new report by environmentalists.

Soot from diesel pollution also leads to 27,000 nonfatal heart attacks and more than 400,000 emergency room visits annually, the Clean Air Task Force and a coalition of public health groups concluded in the report released Tuesday.

Most at risk are people who live near traffic intersections, bus stops, highways, bus and truck depots or construction sites, the report said.

There are an estimated 13 million diesel engines in use in the United States, including 800,000 school buses, the report said. Diesel cars, which have dwindled to a tiny faction of the market, were not covered by the report.




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