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On the approach for calculating occupational exposure limits for diesel motor exhaust: authors’ response
  1. Roel Vermeulen,
  2. Lützen Portengen
  1. Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roel Vermeulen, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Utrecht 3538, Netherlands; r.c.h.vermeulen{at}

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We thank Dr Mohner for his letter to the editor on our recent report on the acceptable risk (AR) and maximum tolerable risk (MTR) of dying from lung cancer due to diesel motor exhaust (DME). Our calculations, which included alternative risk estimates based on reanalyses by us and others, indicated that an acceptable excess risk of lung cancer mortality can only be achieved at very low DME exposure levels. This suggests that diesel engines using older technologies should be removed from the workplace when possible or emissions strictly controlled. Dr Mohner argues in his letter that the derived exposure limits were too conservative. The first argument is based on a recent review by Dr Mohner and Wendt in Critical Reviews in Toxicology where they conclude that there are methodological issues with the three studies …

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  • Contributors Both authors participated in drafting the response.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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