Paper published with IRSST in Quebec
July 5, 2013 (Montreal, QC) - A collaboration with the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) has helped estimate the extent of exposure to occupational carcinogens in Quebec. The IRSST team, led by France Labrèche, used CAREX estimates in combination with several national and international sources to assess the proportions of Quebec workers exposed to 38 known and suspected carcinogens. Those with the largest proportions of exposed workers were solar radiation (6.6% of workers), night shift work/rotating shift work including nights (6.0%), diesel exhaust fumes (4.4%), wood dust (2.9%) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (2.0%). More than 15 carcinogens were identified in several industrial sectors, and up to 100,000 young workers are employed in these sectors.
"Estimating the prevalence of exposure to occupational carcinogens is necessary in order to set research priorities, identify knowledge gaps and target industries and population groups for intervention," explains Dr. Labrèche. "This is a first effort to produce such figures for Quebec workers and it has already started raising awareness of stakeholders. Without the involvement and work of the CAREX Canada team, it would have been much more difficult (and costly...) to produce a credible and useful assessment of occupational carcinogen exposure."
The results are summarized in a peer-reviewed paper in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine entitled "Estimating occupational exposure to carcinogens in Quebec".
CAREX Canada has been connected to the IRSST, and in particular France Labrèche, for a number of years. Dr. Labréche was a member of CAREX Canada’s Occupational Exposures Advisory Committee, providing insight on developing and improving occupational exposure estimates. Dr. Labrèche also collaborates with CAREX and others across the country in a new project led by the Occupational Cancer Research Centre to estimate the human and economic burden of occupational cancer, a national team grant funded by the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI).