Carcinogens in the News

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 of these newsletters, or both, below.

Screening-level assessment of cancer risk associated with ambient air exposure in Aamjiwnaang First Nation

International Journal of Environmental Health Research – The manuscript reports findings from a screening-level assessment of cancer risk from outdoor air in Aamjiwnaang First Nation. Ambient air pollution can contribute to cardiovascular/respiratory diseases, and certain types of cancer. Outdoor air concentrations were mapped and the Lifetime Excess Cancer Risks (LECR) associated with long-term exposure to known carcinogens were estimated. ​

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Canadian Cancer Statistics: A 2020 special report on lung cancer

Canadian Cancer Society – This special report provides new, detailed estimates of lung cancer incidence, mortality, survival and prevalence in Canada. It also provides information on important and emerging issues related to lung cancer, such as risk factors, screening, treatment and equity.

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Quebec to lower acceptable limits of asbestos in any workplace

Montreal Gazette – Quebec is lowering the acceptable limits of asbestos permitted to be in the air in any workplace. The new regulation would lower the acceptable limit to 0.1 fibres per cubic centimetre for all asbestos types, according to Quebec’s workplace safety board, the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST). The new rules bring the province in line with norms already in place in Canada and throughout North America, the CNESST said.

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How Ottawa-Gatineau residents perceive radon health risks

Telfer School of Management – Researchers examined how Ottawa-Gatineau residents perceive the health risks of radon exposure. They sought to determine what encourages and hinders residents to test their homes and when they felt the need to adopt appropriate preventive measures.

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Comparing the costs, benefits, of silica dust prevention methods for construction workers

Institute for Work and Health – Worksites can use different prevention methods to reduce silica dust exposure, including the wet method, local exhaust ventilation, and personal protective equipment. A team of researchers found a combination of all three methods 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.

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Occupational asbestos exposure after the ban: a job exposure matrix developed in Italy

European Journal of Public Health – The objective of this study was to develop a job exposure matrix (JEM) in order to provide summary information for the period 1996–2016 on the magnitude of occupational exposures to asbestos fibres in Italy after the ban. A total of 46,422 workers (86% male) were estimated to be potentially at risk of exposure to asbestos in the sectors of asbestos abatement.

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Fine-particle air pollution has decreased across the US, but poor and minority communities are still the most polluted

The Conversation – Air pollution contributes to as many as 9 million premature deaths worldwide each year. In a newly published study, researchers leverage newly available data that captures PM2.5 concentrations at more than 8.6 million distinct U.S. locations from 1981 through 2016. The results show that the neighborhoods and population groups that were most exposed to fine particle pollution 40 years ago – disproportionately low-income and minority communities – are still exposed to higher pollution levels.

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Identifying priorities for communicating a large body of research for impact

Scholarly and Research Communication – With 80 known and suspected carcinogens in its database and over 800 estimates of how and where Canadians are exposed, CAREX’s challenge has been to focus its efforts to achieve impact. A process model for identifying and prioritizing opportunities for knowledge translation was developed. A total of 54 impacts were tracked, including priority setting, cancer prevention research, implementation research, and policy and practice change.

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A global mask shortage may leave farmers and farm workers exposed to toxic pesticides

The Conversation – As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, vital N95 masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) have been hard to come by, even for those who need them most. And it’s not just health care workers and other care providers who need PPE – especially those N95 masks, technically known as respirators. These devices are also vital to the safety of workers in a host of other industries, from building trades to agriculture.
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Asbestos inhalation poses cancer risks to workers and consumers

Chemical and Engineering News – The processing and use of asbestos-containing diaphragms by the chlor-alkali industry poses an unreasonable risk to the health of workers, the US Environmental Protection Agency concludes in a draft risk evaluation. The assessment, released March 30, also finds unreasonable risks to workers and consumers who process or use asbestos-containing sheet gaskets, brake blocks, aftermarket automotive brakes and linings, and other vehicle friction products and gaskets.
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A scoping review to identify strategies that work to prevent four important occupational diseases

American Journal of Industrial Medicine – This scoping review identifies occupational disease prevention strategies worthy of further exploration by decisionmakers and stakeholders and of future systematic evaluation by researchers. It also identified important gaps, including a lack of studies of precarious workers and the need for more studies that rigorously evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.
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Impact of air pollution on breast cancer incidence and mortality: a nationwide analysis in South Korea

Scientific Reports – Korean researchers performed a nationwide, whole-population census study to investigate the associations between ambient NO2, particulate matter 10 (PM10) concentration and age-adjusted breast cancer mortality and incidence rates in females. They found that ambient air pollutant concentrations were positively and significantly associated with the breast cancer incidence rate. No significant association between air pollutants and the breast cancer mortality rate was observed except for PM10.
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Rules around removal of deadly asbestos tightened on P.E.I.

CBC News – P.E.I.’s Workers Compensation Board has reviewed and revised the rules for contractors removing asbestos from buildings during renovations or demolition. The changes include: new definitions of asbestos-containing materials; a requirement for daily air sampling outside of the work enclosure; expiration periods for contractor certification; new requirements for ventilation; and enhanced medical surveillance for asbestos abatement workers.
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Air pollution ‘pandemic’ shortens lives by 3 years: study

France 24 – Researchers that compared global risk factors found that a ‘pandemic’ of air pollution shortens lives worldwide by nearly three years on average, and causes 8.8 million premature deaths annually. Eliminating the toxic cocktail of molecules and lung-clogging particles cast off by burning oil, gas and coal would restore a full year of life expectancy, they reported in the journal Cardiovascular Research.
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Projected estimates of cancer in Canada in 2020

CMAJ – This study provides an overview of the expected incidence and mortality of cancer in Canada in 2020 in follow-up to the Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019 report. Key findings of the article are summarized in the Canadian Cancer Society’s infographic, and include that an estimated 225,800 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020, and 83,300 will die from it. Lung cancer is expected to be the leading cause of cancer death, accounting for 25.5% of all cancer deaths in Canada.
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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.

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