01/11/2008

Exposure to occupational chemical carcinogens could be eliminated by 2025

Scientists of the Institute of Occupational Medicine argue in the Annals of
Occupational Hygiene that exposure to occupational chemical carcinogens could
essentially be eliminated in Great Britain by 2025. They show that there are
probably about 7 million people in this country exposed to chemical carcinogens
at work.

The key exposures contributing to the current workplace cancer burden are:

  • solar radiation

  • silica, crystalline

  • radon

  • diesel engine exhaust

  • wood dust

  • lead compounds, inorganic

  • chromium [VI] compounds

  • coal-tars plus other PAH sources

  • iron and steel founding

  • asbestos

Analysis of the likely changes in exposure over time suggests that occupational
cancer risks from chemicals are much lower than they were 25 years ago and by
2025 they could be about a twentieth of those in the 1970s.  By 2025, our
scientists suggest that it should be possible to reduce the exposure to known
occupational chemical carcinogens so that they contribute very much less than
1% of all cancers in society.  This is a challenging target that will require a
consistent effort on the part of all stakeholders.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: Annals of Occupational Hygiene