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outdoors, or in sewers.US Army gasoline-engined tanks during World War II were nicknamed Ronsons, because oftheir greater likelihood of catching fire when damaged by enemy fire. (Although tank fireswere usually caused by detonation of the ammunition rather than fuel).Maintenance hazardsFuel injection introduces potential hazards in engine maintenance due to the high fuelpressures used. Residual pressure can remain in the fuel lines long after an injection-equipped engine has been shut down. This residual pressure must be relieved, and if it isdone so by external bleed-off, the fuel must be safely contained. If a high-pressure diesel fuelinjector is removed from its seat and operated in open air, there is a risk to the operator ofinjury byhypodermic jet-injection, even with only 100 psi pressure. The first known suchinjury occurred in 1937 during a diesel engine maintenance operation. CancerDiesel exhaust has been classified as an IARC Group 1 carcinogen. It is a cause of lungcancer and is associated with and increased risk for bladder cancer.
Diesel applicationsThe characteristics of diesel have different advantages for different applications.Passenger carsDiesel engines have long been popular in bigger cars and have been used in smaller cars suchas superminis like the Peugeot 205, in Europe since the 1980s. Diesel engines tend to bemore economical at regular driving speeds and are much better at city speeds. Theirreliability and life-span tend to be better (as detailed). Some 40% or more of all cars sold inEurope are diesel-powered where they are considered a low CO2option. Mercedes-Benz inconjunction with Robert Bosch GmbH produced diesel-powered passenger cars starting in1936 and very large numbers are used all over the world (often as "Grande Taxis" inthe Third World).Railroad rolling stockDiesel engines have eclipsed steam engines as the prime mover on all non-electrifiedrailroads in the industrialized world. The first diesel locomotivesappeared in the early 20thcentury, and diesel multiple units soon after.While electric locomotives have now replaced the diesel locomotive almost completely onpassenger traffic in Europe and Asia, diesel is still today very popular for cargo-hauling freight trains and on tracks where electrification is not feasible.Most modern diesel locomotives are actually diesel-electric locomotives: the diesel engine isused to power an electric generator that in turn powers electric traction motors with nomechanical connection between diesel engine and traction.Other transport usesLarger transport applications (trucks, buses, etc.) also benefit from the Diesel's reliability andhigh torque output. Diesel displaced paraffin (or tractor vaporising oil, TVO) in most parts ofthe world by the end of the 1950s with the U.S. following some 20 years later.