Wildfires take over from industry as major source of cancer-causing air toxins: study

CTV News – Wildfires have taken over from industry as a major source of a group of cancer-causing chemical toxins in the air, Environment Canada says. The first national assessment of polycyclic aromatic compounds in more than 25 years has found that air has improved around aluminum and steel plants. But wildfires and vehicles have stepped in to keep average concentrations at about the same level that they were in the 1990s, says federal researcher Elisabeth Galarneau.

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The CAREX Canada team offers two regular newsletters: the biannual e-Bulletin summarizing information on upcoming webinars, new publications, and updates to estimates and tools; and the monthly Carcinogens in the News, a digest of media articles, government reports, and academic literature related to the carcinogens we’ve classified as important for surveillance in Canada. Sign up for one or both of these newsletters below.

CAREX Canada

School of Population and Public Health

University of British Columbia
Vancouver Campus
370A - 2206 East Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z3
CANADA

© 2022 CAREX Canada
Simon Fraser University

Fall 2020 e-Bulletin

Fall 2020 e-Bulletin

SPOTLIGHT ON COVID-19

Webinar recording on workplace transmission of COVID-19

As part of our ongoing work to assess and reduce exposure inequities across jurisdictions and populations, our team has been studying the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on occupational health. At a recent webinar presented in partnership with the Industrial Accident Victims Group of Ontario (IAVGO), our co-Principal Investigator Dr. Cheryl Peters and collaborator Dr. Mieke Koehoorn shared the results of their research on those who may be more susceptible to COVID-19 transmission at work.

Based on an analysis of media reports on workplace exposures, the largest number of unique outbreaks occurred among industrial butchers and meat packing plant workers, nurses and nurse aides, material handlers, and cashiers. As well, one quarter of all media articles analyzed mentioned immigrant or temporary foreign workers as part of the reported COVID-19 outbreak.

The webinar recording is available here.

RESEARCH UPDATES

New data on sun exposure in outdoor workers

Despite the significant health and economic impacts of workplace exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), occupational exposure measurements to quantify the hazard are limited in most Canadian provinces. To address this gap, our team assessed sun exposure in outdoor workers in Alberta, which has some of the highest ambient sun levels in the country.

The results of our study show that outdoor workers in Alberta may be at considerable risk of solar UVR exposure in the summer months. Almost half of the workers were exposed to levels that exceeded the international occupational exposure limit guideline, with some workers exposed to levels 13 times this guideline.

We also found that few jurisdictions worldwide have surveillance systems in place to control exposure and reduce the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers in this vulnerable worker population. Some key considerations for designing and implementing an occupational surveillance program are summarized in our results.

The full results from this research are available here.

PARTNER UPDATES

Raising awareness on radon exposure

November was Radon Action Month. This year, we’re highlighting some of the work our partners are doing to raise awareness about radon and support action to reduce exposure to this radioactive gas:

Learn more about exposure to radon on our radon resources page.

OCRC launches new Ontario Occupational Disease Statistics website

The Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) recently launched a new website on occupational disease in Ontario. The interactive website allows users to explore the risks of cancer and other diseases among workers in various industries and occupations. Data is currently available for the construction, healthcare, metal manufacturing, mining, and transportation sectors, with additional sectors and workplace exposures coming soon.

The website is available here.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

CAREX Canada’s knowledge translation approach, cancer risks in a First Nations community, and environmental pesticide exposures

Our team has recently published several journal articles on CAREX research, including:

A full list of our publications is available here.

COMMUNICATIONS UPDATES

Recent stories from our Carcinogens in the News digest

This month, we’re featuring three stories that appeared in our Carcinogens in the News digest:

  • Quebec is lowering the acceptable limits of asbestos permitted to be in the air in workplaces. The new regulation will bring the province in line with norms already in place in Canada and throughout North America.    
  • Researchers at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) compared the costs and benefits of different prevention methods to reduce silica dust exposure for construction workers. They found that a combination of three methods – wet method, local exhaust ventilation, and personal protective equipment – can avert the highest number of lung cancer cases (107 cases per year). However, the most cost-beneficial approach is the wet method used in combination with local exhaust ventilation, which can avert 95 lung cancer cases per year. For more research and news from the IWH, subscribe to their monthly newsletter here.
  • The Canadian Cancer Society has released their Canadian Cancer Statistics report, which provides new, detailed estimates of lung cancer incidence, mortality, survival, and prevalence in Canada. It also includes information on important and emerging issues related to lung cancer, such as risk factors, screening, treatment, and equity.

You can subscribe to our monthly Carcinogens in the News digest here.

Please note that the CAREX Canada e-Bulletin is now a bi-annual digest. For more regular communications from us, please subscribe to Carcinogens in the News, a monthly digest of media articles, government reports, and academic literature related to the carcinogens we’ve classified as important for surveillance in Canada.

Subscribe to our newsletters

The CAREX Canada team offers two regular newsletters: the biannual e-Bulletin summarizing information on upcoming webinars, new publications, and updates to estimates and tools; and the monthly Carcinogens in the News, a digest of media articles, government reports, and academic literature related to the carcinogens we’ve classified as important for surveillance in Canada. Sign up for one or both of these newsletters below.

CAREX Canada

School of Population and Public Health

University of British Columbia
Vancouver Campus
370A - 2206 East Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z3
CANADA

© 2022 CAREX Canada
Simon Fraser University

Racial disparities in occupational risk and lung cancer incidence: Analysis of the National Lung Screening Trial

Preventive Medicine – The relationship between racial disparities in occupational risk and lung cancer diagnosis is not well defined. This study examined occupational exposure to asbestos, silica, and other workplace chemicals, fumes, or dusts as reported in the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). The NLST data showed racial disparities of lung cancer development. 

Read more »

Subscribe to our newsletters

The CAREX Canada team offers two regular newsletters: the biannual e-Bulletin summarizing information on upcoming webinars, new publications, and updates to estimates and tools; and the monthly Carcinogens in the News, a digest of media articles, government reports, and academic literature related to the carcinogens we’ve classified as important for surveillance in Canada. Sign up for one or both of these newsletters below.

CAREX Canada

School of Population and Public Health

University of British Columbia
Vancouver Campus
370A - 2206 East Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z3
CANADA

© 2022 CAREX Canada
Simon Fraser University

Over half of Canadian households aware about radon, the number one cause of lung cancer for non-smokers

The Georgia Straight – Just over half or 54 percent of Canadian households reported that they had heard of radon. This was revealed in a households and environment survey from 2019 by Statistics Canada. The poll results indicated that awareness about radon is rising from the 49 percent level in 2017.

Read more »

Subscribe to our newsletters

The CAREX Canada team offers two regular newsletters: the biannual e-Bulletin summarizing information on upcoming webinars, new publications, and updates to estimates and tools; and the monthly Carcinogens in the News, a digest of media articles, government reports, and academic literature related to the carcinogens we’ve classified as important for surveillance in Canada. Sign up for one or both of these newsletters below.

CAREX Canada

School of Population and Public Health

University of British Columbia
Vancouver Campus
370A - 2206 East Mall
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z3
CANADA

© 2022 CAREX Canada
Simon Fraser University