The eRISK tool uses lifetime excess cancer risk (LECR) as an indicator of Canadians’ exposure to known and suspected carcinogens in settings outside of work. LECR is estimated by multiplying intake (the amount inhaled or ingested) by a cancer potency factor or unit risk factor.
LECR represents the additional probability of developing cancer due to exposure to the substance in question at a given intake level for an entire 70 year lifetime, above and beyond the expected probability of developing cancer without being exposed.
The lifetime risk of developing any kind of cancer is 453,000 per million people for males, and 404,000 per million people for females. In other words, it is expected that just over 45 percent of men, and 40 percent of women in Canada will develop some kind of cancer in their lifetime, due to a wide range of factors including genetic characteristics, behaviours including smoking, consuming alcohol, and dietary practices, as well as exposures while at work, home, or outdoors.
Health Canada recognizes excess risk, or LECR, between 1 and 10 per million as being essentially negligible. This excess risk equates to increasing the expected lifetime risk from 453,000 per million men to 453,001-453,010 per million men.
eRISK is a screening-level risk assessment tool that estimates LECR resulting from a population’s exposure to a substance at a given intake level for an entire 70 year lifetime.
Important information about eRISK Online
- Provide a starting point for local-scale assessment of lifetime excess cancer risk
- Prioritize exposures to known and suspected carcinogens in a local area
- Identify exposure pathways of interest for further monitoring or assessment
- Track progress over time as measured levels change
- Assess and compare risk in different scenarios based on predicted changes in concentrations
- Identify cancer risks for specific individuals or groups
- Calculate the expected number of excess cancer cases in a population
- Substance concentrations, inhalation rates, and ingestion rates remain the same 24 hours per day over 70 years
- All of the substances inhaled or ingested is bioavailable (available for the body to absorb)
- Cancer potency factors have uncertainties:
- Based on exposures in animal studies and occupational settings
- Assume a linear dose response (an increase in the number of cancers that is directly proportional to the intake or dose of exposure) and no safe threshold of exposure
eRISK Online is an interactive tool developed by CAREX Canada that allows users to explore the excess cancer risk associated with exposures to known and suspected carcinogens in the environment. Cancer risk is measured at a population level using Lifetime Excess Cancer Risk (LECR) or the expected number of additional cancer cases above the national average.
To use eRISK Online simply select the exposure scenario options from the drop-down boxes below. You may alter the default values or enter your own environmental concentration data if you would like to create estimates from your own data. Results can be shown for one or two scenarios at a time. Hover over red dots for more information.
Please note the scale of the bar graphs is per million people. Most regulatory agencies consider LECRs below one per million to be negligible, and those above one per million to warrant further investigation. Data sources and data quality should be taken into consideration when interpreting the risk estimates. Detailed information about the data used in this calculation are available under the Methods, Data, and Data Quality tabs of each substance’s Environmental Estimate. An overview of the environmental approach is also available.