L’équipe de CAREX Canada offre deux bulletins réguliers: le bulletin électronique semestriel résumant les informations sur nos prochains webinaires, les nouvelles publications et mises à jour des estimations et des outils; et les Actualités cancérogènes mensuels, un condensé des articles de presse, des rapports gouvernementaux, et de la littérature académique relative aux substances cancériogènes que nous avons classé comme important pour la surveillance au Canada. Inscrivez-vous pour l’un de ces bulletins, ou les deux, ci-dessous.
The Globe and Mail – As large wildfires have become regular occurrences in Canada, some scientists warn that repeated exposure to the air pollution they produce could pose long-term health risks, potentially leading to a higher incidence of illness such as cancer and dementia. Wildfires have burned through more than one million hectares in Alberta this spring. Saskatchewan, Manitoba, B.C. and the Northwest Territories are also battling active fires. The website Firesmoke.ca, maintained by the University of British Columbia’s Weather Forecast Research Team, shows these fires are contributing to a wide ribbon of air pollution, snaking across much of the country.
The Tyee – The dangers of asbestos have been known for decades, but it remains the number one killer of workers in British Columbia (BC). Since 2002, BC has recorded nearly 1,200 work-related deaths linked to asbestos. For many people, asbestos is a thing of the past, but advocates say workers in BC are still regularly exposed to asbestos on the job. The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades in BC says a mix of uninformed and unscrupulous construction contractors are routinely putting workers in close contact with asbestos, sometimes without knowing it. Next year, the BC government is set to become the first in Canada to require companies that work in asbestos removal to be licensed by the government, part of a bid to eliminate bad actors and keep workers safe.
Barriers and facilitators in the creation of a surveillance system for solar radiation-induced skin cancers
New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy – Outdoor workers are exposed to many hazards, including solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Identifying, reporting, analyzing, and tracking the exposures or health outcomes of outdoor workers have not generally been formally considered. This article aims to summarize the best practices/strategies for creating an occupational sun exposure or skin cancer surveillance system for outdoor workers and to understand the key barriers and facilitators to the development of such a system. The authors summarized five occupational surveillance strategies, and identified ten key considerations that include critical barriers and vital facilitators for the design of a successful occupational safety and health surveillance system for outdoor workers.
CTV News – The Ontario government announced new rules to improve the safety for the province’s 29,000 mining workers. The new rules will improve ventilation requirements underground and lower the exposure limit to harmful diesel exhaust to the most protective levels in North America. Changes to the rules will also allow for the use of track mounted robots in mines. The changes come in response to calls from unions asking for diesel particulate exposure to be reduced for underground workers, and also from recommendations from the Final report: mining health, safety and prevention review produced by the Office of the Chief Prevention Officer, and 2022 coroner’s inquests.
Consequences of changing Canadian activity patterns since the COVID-19 pandemic include increased residential radon gas exposure for younger people
Scientific Reports – The COVID-19 pandemic produced widespread behaviour changes that shifted how people split their time between different environments. The authors report an update of North American activity patterns pre- and post-pandemic, and implications to radon gas exposure, a leading cause of lung cancer. A survey was conducted with 4,009 Canadian households. Overall time spent indoors remained unchanged, but time in primary residence increased from 66.4 to 77% of life (+ 1062 h/y) after pandemic onset, increasing annual radiation doses from residential radon by 19.2% (0.97 mSv/y). Greater changes were experienced by younger people in newer urban or suburban properties, and those employed in managerial, administrative, or professional roles. This work supports re-evaluating environmental health risks modified by still-changing activity patterns.
Face-to-face with scorching wildfire: potential toxicant exposure and the health risks of smoke for wildland firefighters at the wildland-urban interface
The Lancet Regional Health – As wildfire risks have elevated due to climate change, the health risks that toxicants from fire smoke pose to wildland firefighters have been exacerbated. Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has reclassified wildland firefighters’ occupational exposure as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). Wildfire smoke contributes to an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, yet wildland firefighters have inadequate respiratory protection. This review focuses on four aspects of wildland firefighters’ health risks at the wildland-urban interface: economic costs and human impact, respiratory protection, multipollutant mixtures, and proactive management of wildfires.
The Lancet Oncology – A Working Group of 20 scientists from 10 countries met at the invitation of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to finalise their evaluation of the carcinogenicity of four agents: anthracene, 2-bromopropane, butyl methacrylate (BMA), and dimethyl hydrogen phosphite (DMHP). 2-Bromopropane was classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A) based on “sufficient” evidence for cancer in experimental animals and “strong” mechanistic evidence in experimental systems. The other three agents were classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B) based on “sufficient” evidence for cancer in experimental animals. For all four agents, the evidence regarding cancer in humans was “inadequate”, as no studies were available. These assessments will be published in Volume 133 of the IARC Monographs.
Canadian Occupational Safety – The United Steelworkers (USW) Local 6500 has partnered with the Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health at Laurentian University and Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers to work to change Ontario’s legislation for diesel particulate exposure in the mining industry. The USW Diesel Particulate Project is advocating for the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training, and Skills Development to change the mining OEL for diesel engine exhaust to 20 µg/m3, which is the level recommended by both CAREX Canada and the Occupational Cancer Research Centre.
Investigating reports of cancer clusters in Canada: A qualitative study of public health communication practices and investigation procedures
Public Health Agency of Canada – Public health officials provide an important public service responding to community concerns around cancer and often receive requests to investigate patterns of cancer incidence and communicate findings with citizens. In this study, procedures were identified for Canadian public health officials (PHOs) to follow when investigating reports of cancer clusters, and the challenges officials have faced when conducting risk communication with communities were explored. Differences in practices used to investigate suspected cancer clusters by PHOs were revealed. Establishing pan-Canadian guidelines could improve procedural consistency across jurisdictions and offer enhanced opportunities to compare cluster responses for evaluation. A reporting system to track reported clusters may improve information sharing across all levels of governments.
University of Calgary – A new multidisciplinary study shows that people who act quickly to test for and mitigate radon gas in their homes are at a much lower risk of developing lung cancer long-term. The study found that people who act quickly to learn about, test for, and reduce exposure to radioactive radon gas in their homes could reduce their lifetime risk of lung cancer by as much as 40%, compared to those who do not. The researchers determined that, for a variety of reasons including economic barriers (i.e affordability) and delaying behaviours, three in five Canadians continue to live in homes with known high radon, despite being aware of the associated health risks.
Statistics Canada – After smoking, radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in Canada. In 2021, 56% of Canadian households reported that they had heard of radon, up from 54% in 2019. Of these, 69% were able to identify the correct description of radon when asked to pick from a list of possibilities, while 13% chose an incorrect description, down from 18% in 2019. The remainder had only heard of the term. In 2021, 9% of non-apartment households that had heard of radon indicated that they had tested for radon at some point in the past. Of these households, 86% had tested within the previous 10 years. About 10% of households that had tested their home reported that a problem had been found.
National Institutes of Health – Women who used chemical hair straightening products were at higher risk for uterine cancer compared to women who did not report using these products, according to a new study from the National Institutes of Health. The researchers found no associations with uterine cancer for other hair products that the women reported using, including hair dyes, bleach, highlights, or perms. The study data includes 33,497 US women ages 35-74 participating in the Sister Study, a study led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The women were followed for almost 11 years and during that time 378 uterine cancer cases were diagnosed.
Statistics Canada – In 2019, the rate of new cancer diagnoses increased from 547.5 to 550.2 cases per 100,000 Canadians, according to data from Canadian Cancer Registry (CCR), the country’s national cancer database. In keeping with the previous years, the five most commonly diagnosed cancers remained those of the breast (13%), lung and bronchus (12%), prostate (11%), colorectal (10%) and urinary bladder (5%).
The global burden of cancer attributable to risk factors, 2010–19: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019
The Lancet – Results show that 44% of global cancer deaths and 42% of global cancer disability-adjusted life-years were attributable to estimated risk factors in 2019. Most attributable cancer disability-adjusted life-years were accounted for by behavioural risk factors, such as tobacco use, alcohol use, unsafe sex, and dietary risks. For environmental and occupational risks, the cancer disability-adjusted life-years attributable to occupational carcinogens were three times higher among males than females, which might reflect that males are more likely than females to be employed in workplaces with higher risk of exposure to carcinogens.
Newswire – This summer, free public sunscreen dispensers are coming to locations across Canada as part of a pilot project to fight skin cancer by making sunscreen more accessible. « Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers and also one of the most preventable, » said Dr. Cheryl Peters, Senior Scientist for Cancer Prevention at BC Cancer and the BC Centre for Disease Control. « Increasing the availability and accessibility of sun safety protections, such as sun screen, in a variety of recreational and occupational settings can help reduce the risk for skin cancer. »
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L'équipe CAREX Canada offre deux bulletins réguliers: le Bulletin électronique semestriel résumant les informations sur nos prochains webinaires, les nouvelles publications et mises à jour des estimations et des outils; et le Bulletin des actualités cancérogènes, un condensé mensuel des articles de presse, des rapports gouvernementaux, et de la littérature académique relative aux substances cancérigènes que nous avons classé comme important pour la surveillance au Canada. Inscrivez-vous à un de ces bulletins, ou les deux, ci-dessous.
School of Population and Public Health
Université de la Colombie-Britannique
Campus de Vancouver
2206 East Mall, bureau 370A
Vancouver, C.-B. V6T 1Z3
En notre qualité d’organisation nationale, nous effectuons parfois nos travaux en territoire autochtone. Aussi reconnaissons-nous que notre organisme d’accueil, le campus Point Grey de l’Université de la Colombie-Britannique, est situé sur des territoires traditionnels, ancestraux et non cédés des xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam).