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Diesel industry fumes over ads

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An effort by the Amer ican Lung Association of California to educate people about the dangers of exhaust fumes has the diesel-fuel industry steaming.

A pro-bono print campaign created by Ground Zero asserts that diesel exhaust fumes contain toxic substances and other cancer-causing contaminants. The association is urging state residents to "pursue alternatives to diesel-powered buses."

Not so fast, say representatives of the diesel industry, who argue that the lung association is using "half-truths" and "unsub stantiated allegations" to advance its cause. At a recent industry meeting in Chicago, a diesel lobbyist warned attendees, "There is a cultural and political war going on against diesel."

The lung association's vp of communications, Andrew Weisser, stands by the ads. "The facts speak for themselves," he said. "Our objective is to educate the public."

Ground Zero chairman Jim Smith was slightly less diplomatic: "If the [diesel] industry is upset, we must be doing something right. They are not people I have much sympathy for."