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IRSST calls for sex-differentiated analyses of workplace chemical exposures

January 27, 2016

Montreal – More research is needed to understand the extent to which men and women respond differently to chemical exposures in the workplace, according to a study conducted by scientific research organization IRSST.

Researchers said several studies have analyzed gender in terms of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, but only two studies have incorporated gender into their examination of occupational chemical exposures. Both of those studies were conducted during the late 1990s, researchers said.

IRSST is not alone in calling for sex-differentiated analyses. Institutions such as the World Health Organization, the Quebec government and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research have called for the same approach, according to the study abstract.

“To conclude, sex-differentiated analyses are needed to highlight differences in occupational exposure and injuries, as conducting analyses based on occupation and economic sector alone is not sufficient to reveal the subtle differences in job-associated tasks that are also gender related,” the authors wrote in the report.