The Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study (DEMS)

In March 2012, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) completed a retrospective cohort mortality and nested case-control study of 12,315 workers at eight non-metal mining facilities to investigate risk of lung cancer in relation to quantitative measures of historical exposure to diesel exhaust. Elevated mortality from other causes among diesel exhaust-exposed miners was examined as well. An extensive effort to characterize current and historical exposures to diesel exhaust and to develop estimates of personal exposures was an intrinsic part of the study. The methods for this effort were published in five papers in the Annals of Occupational Hygiene. In 2012, results from the NIOSH-led cohort study and the NCI-led case-control study were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Study Publications

Diesel loader in a mine

Photo by Piedmont Fossil

Cohort Mortality Study

Nested Case-Control Study

Exposure Assessment

Editorials, Letters-to-the-Editor and Responses

Worker Health Study Summary

Requests for Study Data

NIOSH and NCI believe that transparency and public health and scientific advancements are best served when, for an appropriate and legitimate public health purpose, data are shared with researchers and other public health agencies in an open, timely, and appropriate way. Requestors interested in the data supporting the Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study (DEMS) can access these data through the Research Data Center (RDC) at the National Center for Health Statistics by following the standard RDC procedures for accessing non-NCHS Restricted Data (

In addition, NCI is providing the opportunity to download the exposure data and documentation underlying the exposure assessment methods described in the five published exposure assessment papers shown above in the Study Publications. The exposure data underlying the exposure assessment papers can be accessed here ( icon).

Page last reviewed: July 25, 2012