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Can some of the gaseous chemicals in many of the car exhaust by-products of the combustion engine be carcinogenic or cancer-causing?. Could car exhaust behave in a ways that are similar to 'second' hand smoke' from cigarettes that is known to cause many health problems? Can such pollution always be cleaned up or at least 'filtered out'?

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  • $\begingroup$ I edited the question already. How can I word the question so it is acceptable? $\endgroup$ – 201044 Aug 18 '15 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ If you want this reopened you are going to have to narrow down what you are asking and keep it related to the Earth Science part. If you have more than one question you should probably ask them in separate posts. $\endgroup$ – farrenthorpe Sep 20 '15 at 20:30
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    $\begingroup$ Emissions controls are a standard part of every vehicle produced. Yes vehicle exhaust has carcinogens in it... the mix of which is highly dependent on the vehicle type and fuel type used. As you increase the number of emissions controls, the efficiency goes down, so manufacturers only put on what they have to in order to meet regulatory goals. Different pollutant classes (e.g. nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, particulates) have different associated control technologies. I still think this question is too broad and you don't seem to be interested in Earth Science. $\endgroup$ – farrenthorpe Sep 29 '15 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ Lung cancer is normally due to long-term exposure to particulate matter. If ambient air (or enclosed air, if that is your environment) has annual averages over something like 15 ug/m3, your probability of cancer increases, and continues to do so with higher concentrations. You need to look at epidemiological studies to get the exact numbers. Yes, the particulates from uncontrolled combustion (any combustion... not just cars) can cause lung cancer. The real variables of interest are the length of exposure and avg PM concentration. $\endgroup$ – farrenthorpe Oct 9 '15 at 22:18
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    $\begingroup$ Important to consider that each pollutant has a different effect on health, and lung cancer is a specific disease related to PM exposure. Other pollutants have different relationships to health. $\endgroup$ – farrenthorpe Oct 9 '15 at 22:19
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Yes almost definitely. Its not just gas, but additives, lubricants/oils, coatings, coolant (some of which leaks into the combustion chamber) etc. The full list of known carcinogens is available here.

Also see the EPA report here which says ...

"EPA estimates that mobile (car, truck, and bus) sources of air toxics account for as much as half of all cancers attributed to outdoor sources of air toxics. This estimate is not based on actual cancer cases, but on models that predict the maximum number of cancers that could be expected from current levels of exposure to mobile source emissions."

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  • $\begingroup$ Even though this was closed the user 'stall' gave some very useful information. $\endgroup$ – 201044 Aug 15 '15 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ User stali pointed out some very interesting articles. $\endgroup$ – 201044 Aug 18 '15 at 15:03

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