What is occupational cancer?

We are resolute in understanding the causes of work-related cancer and to identifying what can be done to reduce the burden of these diseases on society.
Each year there are probably more than 700,000 deaths from work-related cancers around the world, mostly lung cancers and other respiratory tumours. The main causes are asbestos, dust containing crystalline silica, diesel engine exhaust particulate, and a number of other hazardous agents. The main employment sectors impacted are construction and manufacturing.

In developed countries, these hazardous exposures are decreasing over time because of stricter laws and better control of work processes. However, in developing countries workplace exposure to carcinogenic substances are generally less well controlled and the risks may be very high.

Our research:

We develop research to understand which workplace agents cause cancer and how to intervene to reduce risks.

We undertake a wide range of research related to workplace cancer: from studies to characterise exposure of people to carcinogens to epidemiological investigations in populations exposed to carcinogenic substances.  We have provided estimates of the number of cancer deaths associated with work activities to help governments develop appropriate policy initiatives, and we have completed high profile reviews of the evidence for the carcinogenicity of workplace exposures.

Our cancer research is funded by governments, industry, and charitable organisations. 

We have expertise in:

  • assessment of exposure to evaluate cancer risks for workers
  • design and conduct of occupational epidemiological studies
  • estimation of cancer burden at a national and international level
  • investigation of cancer clusters, i.e. unexplained incidence of cancer in specific workplaces
  • review of the published scientific literature for causation of cancers by work 

Our scientists are international experts in cancer epidemiology and cancer burden estimation. We have carried out numerous studies in working populations to determine whether there is an increased risk of death or cancer incidence. We have particular expertise in assessing exposure in these types of study, which may require special techniques to assess historic working conditions.

Key projects 

  • Investigation of the cancer risks in the British rubber manufacturing industry
  • A review of the impact of shift-work on cancer
  • Mortality among hard metal production workers
  • Occupational Ill-health in the Singapore construction sector:  cancer and non-malignant respiratory diseases

Sponsors we have worked for 

  • Cancer Research UK
  • British Health and Safety Executive 
  • IOSH
  • International Tungsten Industry Association
  • Workplace Safety and Health Institute, Singapore
  • IOMworld Posted: yesterday
    We have published over 2,500 articles and major pieces of project work. Today we are one of Europe’s principal work… https://t.co/C2daujZVK7
  • IOMworld Posted: 2 days ago
    #NanoTox2021 is taking place online from 20th – 22nd April 2021 ➡️Nanotechnology ➡️ Hazard and risk assessment of n… https://t.co/JC30t6iKhf
  • IOMworld Posted: 3 days ago
    Talking about the physical and emotional aspects of working from home & how it impacts both organisations & humans… https://t.co/OYw7dsIvHF
  • IOMworld Posted: 4 days ago
    There is a legal duty for landlords to assess &control the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria in both domestic… https://t.co/RP4nHi3atu
  • IOMworld Posted: 7 days ago
    #NanoTox2021 is taking place online from 20th – 22nd April 2021 ➡️Nanotechnology ➡️ Hazard and risk assessment of n… https://t.co/HkPOPVzUgh
  • IOMworld Posted: 7 days ago
    Announcement: IOM's Online Face Fit Tester Training Live Workshop has been rescheduled to 1st June 10am. Join us on… https://t.co/8vfocIsDh3
  • IOMworld Posted: 7 days ago
    Join the IOM in this great opportunity to be a part of ground-breaking research on developing innovative methods fo… https://t.co/ri97lwycAP
  • IOMworld Posted: 9 days ago
    IOM talks about the physical and emotional aspects of working from home and how it impacts both organisations and h… https://t.co/cowqG7mN7M
  • IOMworld Posted: 15 days ago
    Health risks from Coronavirus and occupational disease are big issues for businesses. Our clients are benefiting fr… https://t.co/SwEyyQONfU
  • IOMworld Posted: 16 days ago
    Find out about the importance of Respirator Protection Equipment (RPE) in the workplace, join our online Face Fit T… https://t.co/AnEEVH0sVq