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Diesel gases masculinize fetal rodents

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency issued final rules aimed at cleaning up the soot and gases emitted by heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses. That should significantly reduce respiratory harm from diesel fumes. It might also decrease their potential for perturbing normal sexual development, a previously unanticipated risk suggested by results of a new study in rats.

Japanese researchers find that when pregnant rats inhale diesel emissions—even after all soot particles have been filtered out—their male and female young develop signs of inappropriate masculinization.

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