Occupational cancer

Occupational cancer


The products or substances causing cancer are numerous and widespread in the workplace. The more 60081/expositions # # / # # are long, strong and countless, the greater the risk is important.

How do we contaminate?

By inhalation

Most often it is through inhalation that takes place the contamination. Dusts and powders for suspension, gas, fumes, aerosols, vapors ... many carcinogens can pollute the air we breathe.

By ingestion

Contamination by mouth is rare. However, it is potential to ingest particles of carcinogens, raising her hands dirty or contaminated objects in their mouths. It is also possible to swallow particles that settle on the face, especially on the lips.


Some carcinogens can enter the body through the skin. Contamination can occur when the material is handled with bare hands, but also to receive projections of the product or by contact with an object (soaked cloth) or a work plan contaminated.
Occupational cancer

Classification based on risk.

The classification of the Union covers only chemical carcinogens; it divides into three categories:

Substances of category 1, carcinogenic to humans,
substances of category 2, on which data are available strongly suggesting a carcinogenic effect, but no formal proof,
Category 3 substances, called "concern" about which there is evidence to suggest a possible carcinogenic effect, but not yet enough information.
The IARC classification (International Agency for Research on Cancer) covers all carcinogens which she distinguishes four categories:

a group of agents, known carcinogens to humans,
agents in group 2, probably carcinogenic (2A) or possibly carcinogenic (2B) to humans,
agents in Group 3, unclassifiable (insufficient data)
staff in a group 4, apparently not carcinogenic to humans.
Only the classification of the European Union has a legal value. That IARC can merely draw up an inventory of knowledge about the effects of a given agent.

Night Work

A growing number of studies suggested that night work, by disrupting the functioning of our biological clock, may increase the risk of developing certain cancers, particularly of breast. IARC has also recently published a notice stating that the work-hours, resulting in disruption of the natural cycle of day / night are "probably carcinogenic to humans."


The exposure to asbestos fibers increases the risk of pleural cancer (also called "mesothelioma"), the envelope that surrounds the lungs. It also increases the risk of lung cancer and, to a lesser extent, the risk of cancer of the larynx (throat), pericardium (envelope that surrounds the heart) and peritoneum (envelope surrounding the viscera in the abdomen). Some evidence suggests that it as well promote some cancers of the digestive tract. About 25% of men currently retired to have been exposed to asbestos during their working lives. The occupations most affected are employees of industry's production and processing of asbestos, the building trades, heating contractors, workers in shipyards and railways, the industrial coach builders, car mechanics, sheet metal- Boilermakers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, welders ...


The association between pesticide exposure and increased risk of cancer is still under investigation. However, data suggest a link "probable" or "possible" between certain pesticides and different types of cancers. Several studies provide data suggesting an association between pesticide exposure and increased risk of cancer of the brain, thyroid and lung. A team, supported by the CRA, has also recently identified a molecular link between pesticides and a form of blood cancer (lymphoma). Finally, some data suggest that pesticides may increase the risk of hormone-dependent cancers ( breast, ovarian, testicular and prostate ). The occupational exposure to pesticides (past or present, in workers now retired) affects 1 to 2 million people.

Wood dust

The job processing timber, sawing and grinding, generates a significant amount of sawdust and chips. Transportation activities and waste wood products at its processing and the manufacture of wooden furniture and objects also generates dust. However, this is dust causing respiratory diseases and skin. They include the source of cancers of the nasal cavity and sinuses (sin-nasal cancers). The risk of developing such a cancer would be 40 times higher for cabinetmakers and carpenters than among workers not exposed to such dust. The occupations most at risk working in the wood industry and paper, furniture manufacturing, construction or logging ...