Occupational exposure to diesel and gasoline engine emissions and the incidence of colorectal and bladder cancer in Canadian men

Status: completed


This study examined whether workplace exposures to diesel and gasoline emissions increase the risk of developing colorectal and bladder cancer.


Workplace exposures to diesel and gasoline emissions from engine exhausts are known to affect human health, but their effects on cancer remain poorly understood. Exposure to diesel and gasoline exhaust is common among Ontario workers, and it has been estimated that more than 230,000 Ontario workers are exposed to some degree.


This study compared workplace exposures among a sample of Canadian men who developed these cancers to a group of men who were cancer-free. All jobs held over the lifetime of each participant were assessed according to the level of exposure and the percentage of time that exposure occurred. Other factors that may have had an effect on the development of these types of cancers, such as age, cigarette smoking, diet, physical activity and other workplace exposures, were taken in account.


This research has the potential to reduce occupational cancer. In the presence of a real association between diesel and gasoline emissions and bladder and colorectal cancers, there are interventions that could be implemented to reduce workers’ exposures to these emissions.



Shelley Harris (Occupational Cancer Research Centre, Cancer Care Ontario, University of Toronto) (PI)
Paul Villeneuve (Health Canada, University of Toronto)
Linda Kachuri (Occupational Cancer Research Centre)
Kenneth Johnson (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Marie-Élise Parent (Institut national de la recherché scientifique)