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Background and Objectives: Diesel vehicle idling reduction is an important national environmental and legislative issue. Exposure to diesel exhaust is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, including: • Lung & esophageal cancer • Asthma • Cardiovascular disease • Neurotoxicity • Decreased sperm count & testosterone deficiency Drivers of diesel vehicles have specifically been shown to have increased incidence and death from lung cancer. Diesel engines emit a number of known hazardous chemicals, including carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, sulfur dioxide, benzene, formaldehyde, and acrolein, into the air supply. While public health efforts to reduce diesel idling in Vermont and elsewhere have identified employers’ significant financial incentives in fuel conservation, perhaps there is also a role for appealing to drivers themselves: the people who are incurring the most direct exposure. It is unknown, however, whether Vermont diesel vehicle operators are aware of the health effects of diesel exhaust – or, more significantly, whether they are concerned about it. In order to identify potential targets for future interventions to reduce diesel idling in Vermont, this study aims to probe the following: • Have Vermont drivers been educated about exhaust exposure? • Are they concerned about potential health effects of diesel? • Are they satisfied with their understanding of the health impact of diesel fuel? • What are their health concerns, more generally? • What resources for health information do they respect? • What are their specific obstacles to idling reduction?


Gerald S. Davis, MD, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Rebecca Ryan, MEd, American Lung Association of Vermont

Jan Carney, MD, MPH, University of Vermont College of Medicine


American Lung Association in Vermont


Educational and Community-Based Programs, Environmental Health, Health Communication and Health Information Technology


Presented at the 2010 Vermont ACP Chapter Meeting, Stowe, VT, October 2010.
Presented at 138th APHA Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 7, 2010 as "Assessing Health Concerns & Obstacles to Diesel Exposure Reduction in Vermont Diesel Vehicle Operators," by Melissa Marotta, Maria Burnett, Renee Bratspis, Quillan Huang, Brett Porter, William Timbers, Joseph Yared, Thomas V. Delaney, PhD, Rebecca Ryan, Gerald Davis, MD and Jan K. Carney, MD MPH.

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Assessing Health Concerns & Obstacles to Diesel Exposure Reduction in Vermont Diesel Vehicle Operators