Research involving Hormel Institute suggests use of biofuels reduces cancer risk

A recently published review of top scientific literature suggests that ethanol-blended fuels widely available at gas stations as E10, E15, or E85 result in less toxic emissions from vehicles and present a lower risk to human health than regular gasoline. The study, a collaboration between The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota in Austin and the Energy Resources Center, University of Illinois Chicago, shows that gasoline containing ethanol produces lower emissions of toxic chemicals known to cause cancer.  The review article was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health by Dr. Steffen Mueller of the Energy Resources Center and Dr. Shujun Liu and Gail Dennison of The Hormel Institute. It reviews research on the toxicity of gasoline and expected toxicity reductions with ethanol, and Dr. Mueller stated to KAUS that refiners blend aromatic hydrocarbons into gasoline to prevent the fuel from premature combustion, which is known as knocking, but he added that ethanol has similar or superior anti-knock properties and is used as a substitute….

Dr. Mueller stated that work should start on a more modern fuel with even higher levels of ethanol….

The review summarizes the most important findings in the literature on the association between exposures to carcinogens from gasoline combustion, cancer epigenetics and the potential epigenetic impacts of biofuels. While the authors concluded that the available research points to biofuels containing fewer carcinogens and therefore reduced cancer risk, larger exposure studies are still needed to confirm the results.