Based on observing career truck drivers: diesel fumes do not cause weight loss.
Asthmatics who inhaled diesel exhaust fumes for two hours in a study booth didn’t just get itchy eyes and a headache while breathing in the polluted air.
They also experienced effects on a micro level as genes associated with inflammatory and oxidative stress processes were altered.
Not surprising when we know that exercise will change the expression of your DNA.
The article gives the test example, and conditions someone might get similar exposure. Basically, places with heavy air pollution. Ultrafine particles (UFP) are probably both the least well-studied and least regulated form of air pollution. Likely because they’re somewhat tricky to reliably measure at all in an uncontrolled environment, let alone measured by a means that can be deployed for routine large-scale monitoring. There’s a small pile of studies showing that they do have health effects, though no one seems to know exactly what the mechanisms or dose-response curves are, or how the short-term effects translate into identifiable disease etiologies. For example, there are studies in both rats and humans consistent with the presence of UFP inhibiting the exercise-stimulated production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurological growth factor that is believed to play a key role in multiple psychiatric disorders and even some forms of obesity. There are other studies showing other effects – those were just the ones that particularly came to mind.
Although modern diesel engines are far cleaner than the classic models, they are known to produce considerable amounts of UFP pollution. Gasoline engines and various other technologies (laser printers / photocopiers, various forms of precision machining…) aren’t entirely innocent, either.
I’d heard that most of the breathing masks available on the shelf would not provide much if any protection. You need something with a good seal, so no beards. Lumbersexual is not a thing…