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Petroleum and cancer

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Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16256
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:57 am    Post subject: Petroleum and cancer Reply with quote

There is no question that the development of petroleum as an energy source contributed to economic gains throughout the world, and especially in the United States. But there is a dark side to the use of petroleum—air pollution. While petroleum is a cleaner fuel than coal, it is far from clean. As our technology develops alternatives, and science, we are now aware that the byproducts of petroleum are potent cancer-causing chemicals. Like tobacco, petroleum when used as intended, causes cancers. Like the tobacco industry, the petroleum industry has cultivated an army of lawyers, dishonest scientists, pr specialists, and lobbyists to protect their financial interest. Some of the “scientists” who lie for big petroleum are the same guys who told us that tobacco didn’t cause cancer. We’ll call this army “shills.”

California has been a leader in reducing the pollution from motor vehicles, starting in the 1960’s with the regulation of the precursors to smog. Of course, the auto and petroleum industry insisted that it couldn’t be done, that it would wreck the economy, that they needed more time to develop the technology and so forth. Shrill yapping from shills. Now cars are 98% cleaner than they were in the 1960’s, and the air pollution control effort created more jobs than were lost.

In 1984, the California Air Resources Control Board (CARB) turned its attention to the other aspects of air pollution threatening public health, toxic air contaminants, TAC’s. Chief among those were two sources associated with motor vehicles, diesel particulates and benzene. You can see a review of that program here:

Of course, the shills objected. It couldn’t be done, we need more time, it’s really not that dangerous. Well, yes it is. From the article:

Three of these TACs have been emitted mainly from mobile sources: DPM, benzene, and 1,3-butadiene. Although some stationary sources use diesel-fueled engines, most DPM is emitted from mobile sourcesmainly trucks, buses, and offroad sources such as ships.27 Benzene is emitted mainly from on-road vehiclesfrom incomplete fuel combustion and from gasoline evaporation.27

Despite the objections from the shills, CARB began to regulate TAC’s. Here’s what happened:

for the period 1990−2012 for seven TACs that are responsible for most of the known cancer risk associated with airborne exposure in California. Of these seven, diesel particulate matter (DPM) is the most important; however DPM is not measured directly. Based on a novel surrogate method, DPM concentrations declined 68%, even though the state’s population increased 31%, diesel vehicle-miles-traveled increased 81%, and the gross state product (GSP) increased 74%. Based on monitoring data, concentrations of benzene, 1,3-butadiene, perchloroethylene, and hexavalent chromium declined 88−94%. Also, the ambient and emissions trends for each of these four TACs were similar. Furthermore, these declines generally occurred earlier in California than elsewhere. However, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, which are formed in the air photochemically from volatile organic compounds (VOCs), declined only 20−21%. The collective cancer risk from exposure to these seven reviewed TACs declined 76%. Significant reduction in cancer risk to California residents from implementation of air toxics controls (especially for DPM) is expected to continue

That’s right, cancer risk declined 76% and the economy continued to grow.

But wait, are we sure that vehicle emissions cause cancer? Only if we pay attention to scientists. Here’s one source:

Pollution from vehicles causes a broad range of acute and chronic diseases, including lung cancer. It was estimated that 11 395 deaths and 232 646 disability adjusted life years (DALYs) were attributed to motorized road transport globally in 2010.4 In Western countries, the histological distribution of lung cancer has changed during the past decades, showing an increase in adenocarcinomas and a decrease in squamous-cell carcinomas; this transition is associated with tobacco blends5 and ambient air pollution.6

I guess that’s peanuts compared to COVID.

Remember that those who shill for petroleum companies are part of the con.
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Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16256
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2021 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The kind of regulation that buggy whip and his buddies fought. California regulated diesel particulates more than the Federal government. Deaths went down.
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