Occupational illnesses Worker health and wellness

EU-OSHA calls for increased attention on work-related cancer

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Bilbao, Spain – Greater emphasis is needed on reducing cancer-causing conditions in the workplace, and information on occupational carcinogens in Europe is “outdated and incomplete,” according to a new report from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, also known as EU-OSHA.

“Although cancer research has progressed significantly in the recent past, awareness of occupational cancer risks is still low,” EU-OSHA Director Christa Sedlatschek said in a press release. “Therefore, it is crucial that awareness and knowledge of these risks is improved, and this report takes the first step towards this.”

The report offers several suggestions to help improve knowledge of carcinogenic risks, including an update to the International Information System on Occupational Exposure to Carcinogens, and looking into emerging risks such as nanomaterials, shift work and night work.

Broader employer knowledge about occupational cancer also is necessary, according to the report, which called on agencies to use awareness-raising campaigns, provide detailed guidance on reducing exposures to certain risks and increase inspections.

The report was released Feb. 4 to coincide with World Cancer Day.