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New diesel to reduce cancer-causing toxins

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

California is leading the way in rolling out a new type of diesel fuel. The new blend reduces a substance that has been linked to health problems and global warming. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce has more.

The cleaner diesel fuel is nearly free of sulfur, which contributes to lung cancer, among other ailments. It still contains dangerous pollutants. But the new fuel cuts back on the emissions that causes unhealthy air. It does cost a few more pennies a gallon to produce and some trucking firms are worried it could increase their costs. But State Air Resources Board spokesman Jerry Martin calls it a good deal for everyone.

Martin: "The California Air Resources Board has identified a particulate from diesel - that's the soot that you see - as toxic, meaning it causes cancer. And if we can reduce the cancer threat from diesel, it certainly is well worth the cost."

Martin says the Mexican border crossing is one area that will benefit from the reduced emissions because of the heavy volume of truck traffic. Fuel pumps in California are now selling the new diesel fuel. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

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