Listing Occupational Carcinogens

Environ Health Perspect. 2004 Nov;112(15):1447-59. doi: 10.1289/ehp.7047.

Abstract

The occupational environment has been a most fruitful one for investigating the etiology of human cancer. Many recognized human carcinogens are occupational carcinogens. There is a large volume of epidemiologic and experimental data concerning cancer risks in different work environments. It is important to synthesize this information for both scientific and public health purposes. Various organizations and individuals have published lists of occupational carcinogens. However, such lists have been limited by unclear criteria for which recognized carcinogens should be considered occupational carcinogens, and by inconsistent and incomplete information on the occupations and industries in which the carcinogenic substances may be found and on their target sites of cancer. Based largely on the evaluations published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and augmented with additional information, the present article represents an attempt to summarize, in tabular form, current knowledge on occupational carcinogens, the occupations and industries in which they are found, and their target organs. We have considered 28 agents as definite occupational carcinogens, 27 agents as probable occupational carcinogens, and 113 agents as possible occupational carcinogens. These tables should be useful for regulatory or preventive purposes and for scientific purposes in research priority setting and in understanding carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogens / classification*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Occupational Health*
  • Reference Values

Substances

  • Carcinogens