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USA: Unions win action on cement health risks
A union legal challenge has won stricter controls on cancer and other risks posed by a constituent of portland cement. The ubiquitous site material, which contains hexavalent chromium (chrome 6), a known carcinogen and powerful allergen, had been excluded from the official chrome 6 standard.
Risks 302, 21 April 2007 • BCTD news release and full text of the settlement agreement [pdf] • AFL-CIO Now
Hazards news, 12 May 2007

USA: Work cancer studies underestimate real risks
A study of cancer risk in workers exposed to metalworking fluids suggests common study approaches systematically under-estimate the true extent of the problem. Harvard University researchers say failure to take adequate account of the time lag between exposure and development of an occupational cancer – the latency period – means a significant proportion of work-related cancers can be missed.
Risks 302, 21 April 2007

Canada: Firefighter won final cancer battle
A Toronto fire captain who died of work-related colon cancer this month was laid to rest last week with full honours. Gary Allen Wilson, 48, was found to have died in the line of duty after the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) declared his cancer to be related to the chemicals and smoke he was exposed to on the job.
Risks 300, 31 March 2007 • Hazards work cancer webpages

Australia: ABC breast cancer victims in compo bid
Eight of the 13 women who developed breast cancer in the last 11 years while working at the ABC's Toowong studios, in Brisbane, Australia, have filed workers' compensation claims.
Risks 300, 31 March 2007 • Hazards work cancer webpages

Global: Hidden cancer epidemic is work’s biggest killer
UK unions are supporting a global ‘zero cancer’ campaign targeting workplace cancers. A coalition of global unions is warning a worldwide epidemic of occupational cancer claims at least one life every 52 seconds, but says this tragedy is being ignored or seriously underestimated by both official regulators and employers.
Risks 300, 31 March 2007 • Occupational Cancer/Zero Cancer: A trade union guide to prevention [pdf] • Hazards occupational cancer webpages and new Work cancer prevention kitIMF occupational cancer webpagesBWI occupational cancer webpages

France: Few workers protected from major health risks
A major survey of French workplaces has revealed few workers are adequately protected from from the risks posed by carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic substances (CMR agents) – in general, substances that carry a cancer or reproductive health risk. Inspections at 2,000 firms found only 40 per cent of workplaces using CMR agents - nearly half of all the firms visited were using these substances - had carried out the necessary risk assessment.
Risks 299, 24 March 2007

Denmark: Union study exposes work cancer tragedy
A trade union study has identified high levels of occupational cancers in construction workers in Denmark and has prompted immediate government action. Danish Confederation of Construction Workers Unions (BAT-Cartel) researchers analysed found a range of jobs had a statistically significant risk for a range of cancers, many associated with asbestos exposure.
Risks 299, 24 March 2007

Canada: Unions push for shipyard cancer action
Official Canadian health and safety agencies in Newfoundland and Labrador say they will thoroughly investigate complaints from 15 former shipyard workers who say their workplace gave them cancer. All worked at the Marystown Shipyard and blame exposure to asbestos and toxic chemicals for their cancers.
Risks 296, 3 March 2007

Canada: Cancer study links site work to head cancers
The risk of developing health and neck cancers is doubled if you work in construction, a new study suggests. Researchers from the University of Stirling’s Occupational and Environmental Health Research found men who had been diagnosed with head and neck cancer were twice as likely to have worked in construction as participants in a control group.
Risks 296, 3 March 2007

Britain: One-in-five women with lung cancer never smoked
One-in-five lung cancers in females and almost 1-in-10 in men occur in people who have never smoked, a new study has concluded. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Northern California Cancer Center have concluded that never-smokers get lung cancer more often than thought.
Risks 294, 17 February 2007

Britain: Ford cancer probe highlights work risks
An 18-month investigation into a throat cancer cluster at Southampton's Ford car factory has concluded six cases – twice the expected number – occurred as a matter of chance. Experts were called in after five employees in the paint shop died of throat cancer. Another developed the illness but recovered; the six staff members were diagnosed with the disease between 1994 and 2005 - more than twice the number of cases medical researchers would expect to occur over an 11-year period.
Risks 293, 10 February 2007

USA: Women’s work cancers under the spotlight
Many work environments - no matter how seemingly innocuous - expose people to human carcinogens, substances that can cause cancer. Cornell University’s Suzanne Snedeker said: “It's appalling how little data we have,” adding: “Until the 1990s we had very little data on exposure to chemicals.”
Risks 291, 27 January 2007 • Hazards cancer webpages

Australia: ABC staff may strike over cancer concerns
Staff employed by Australian broadcaster ABC in Brisbane have threatened further industrial action as concerns continue about elevated cancer rates linked to its ageing studios in the city. The studio was abandoned before Christmas after an independent panel of experts found the breast cancer rate there was up to 11 times higher than the general working community.
Risks 289, 13 January 2007

India: The real cost of cheap stone
Research and “diagnosis camps” run by the Gujarat-based Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC) have identified an “epidemic” of silicosis, a deadly lung disease caused by exposure to stone dust. Quarry workers, gem polishers, foundry and other industrial workers are at risk.
Risks 289, 13 January 2007 • PTRC websiteMore on the PTRC dust campaign

Europe: Cancer problems hidden at work
Occupational cancers are being missed because of flaws in the reporting system, according to a new report. It says a major factor in the near invisibility of occupational cancer is that the related tumours in the great majority of cases only occur after the worker has retired - however, a pilot scheme by France’s health protection agency which started in 2005 is using post-occupational monitoring for employees and self-employed skilled workers.
Risks 287, 16 December 2006

Britain: Scientist played down work cancer risks
A world-famous British scientist failed to disclose that he held a paid consultancy with a chemical company for more than 20 years while investigating cancer risks in the industry. Sir Richard Doll, the celebrated epidemiologist, was receiving a consultancy fee of $1,500 a day in the mid-1980s from chemical multinational Monsanto.
Risks 287, 16 December 2006

USA: Multinationals blame workers for chemical cancers
Nine former employees of a US tyre plant who developed occupational cancers as a result of toxic exposures have been told by chemical giants it was their own fault. The group, who all worked at Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin, were exposed to benzene but have been told they caused their own cancer because they “voluntarily used the chemicals knowing the dangers and risks, and they failed to take precautions which could have avoided injuries.”
Risks 284, 25 November 2006

Britain: Danger, cancer at work
Hazards magazine is campaigning for greater recognition of the occupational cancer risk. It needs evidence from UK workplaces to add additional weight to its arguments and wants to hear about any cancer risks where you work, compensation payouts made to people developing occupational cancers, union guidance on the issue or union initiatives to remove or reduce workplace cancer risks.
Hazards cancer webpages

Global: Raised cancer risk in firefighters
Firefighters are at a far higher risk of developing certain cancers than people in many other professions, according to new research. A University of Cincinnati team said exposure to substances such as benzene, chloroform and soot posed a threat.
Risks 283, 18 November 2006 • Hazards cancer and work and health webpages • US firefighters' union IAFF webpages on presumption laws in the US and Canada

Global: HSE’s cancer favourite had “secret ties to industry”
Researchers have revealed that the co-author of the most frequently cited but much criticised estimate of occupational cancer prevalence had “secret ties to industry”. An analysis of the academic literature on occupational cancer found: “The most striking case is that of Sir Richard Doll, co-author (with Richard Peto) of one of the most influential papers in cancer epidemiology, one that concluded
Risks 283, 18 November 2006

Britain: Semiconductor cancer deaths inquiry call
The UK semiconductor industry and the official safety watchdog must take urgent action to address cancer risks in the semiconductor industry, a union has said. Manufacturing union Amicus has called for an inquiry into cancer risks in the computer and semiconductor manufacturing industry following damning new research from the United States.
Risks 282, 11 November 2006

Britain: Amicus takes on “terrible” silica problems
An Amicus campaign is seeking to minimise the risks of “terrible” diseases caused by workplace exposure to silica. Crystalline silica can cause silicosis and other respiratory disease and has been linked to lung cancer, kidney and autoimmune system problems.
Risks 280, 28 October 2006

Global: Breast cancer linked to jobs
Women who have worked, or grown up, on a farm have a much higher risk of getting breast cancer, a study suggests. Stirling University researchers said women who then worked in healthcare further increased their risk, although more research is needed to explain why.
Risks 279, 21 October 2006

Britain: Amicus prepares Lords appeal on pleural plaques
An appeal to the Law Lords to reinstate compensation for sufferers of the asbestos related condition pleural plaques has been set for summer 2007.The move by Amicus is seeking to overturn a Court of Appeal ruling this year which stopped compensation payouts to those with the condition.
Risks 279, 21 October 2006

Global: Cancer linked to rotating shifts
Men who work a rotating shift pattern may be at increased risk of prostate cancer, research suggests. Japanese scientists found that staff working rotating shifts were three times as likely to develop the disease as those working day or night shifts.
Risks 275, 23 September 2006

USA: Corporate cancer kills off real prevention
The organisation representing occupational health doctors in the US has been labelled an “embarrassment” after making claims about the supposed “success” of occupational cancer prevention measures. The flak heading the way of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has been amplified because of its support for a “CEO Cancer Gold Standard™”, backed largely by pharmaceutical companies and concentrating entirely on lifestyle measures.
Risks 273, 9 September 2006

USA: Workplace lead exposure a brain cancer risk
People who are routinely exposed to lead at work are far more likely to die from brain cancer than people who are not exposed. The US study found the death rate among people with jobs that potentially exposed them to lead was 50 percent higher than unexposed people, and the number of deaths was larger than in many previous studies.
Risks 273, 9 September 2006

Cancer and work conference, Glasgow, 14 September
Unions and workplace health campaign organisations are hosting a 14 September conference in Glasgow on cancer and work.
Risks 270, 19 August 2006

Ukraine: Chernobyl thyroid cancer risk confirmed
A new study has confirmed a substantially increased risk of thyroid cancer among people exposed to radiation during childhood and adolescence after the Chernobyl disaster.
Risks 265, 15 July 2006

China: Campaign calls for cadmium compensation
The global metalworkers’ union federation IMF is calling on its affiliates worldwide to join the campaign for compensation for workers in China suffering from cadmium poisoning. When Gold Peak Industries opened its Huizhou factories in 1994, Chinese workers were not warned of the dangers of handling highly dangerous cadmium and were initially refused masks. Years later, these workers suffer from cadmium poisoning, are going into debt from medical bills and unable to find new employment.
Risks 263, 1 July 2006

Britain: TUC in renewed work cancer call
The UK must revise its massive official under-estimate of the work cancer toll, the TUC has said. The call comes after research this month confirmed TUC’s charge that the UK’s occupational cancer estimate is outdated and inadequate, missing most workplace cancers.
Risks 262, 24 June 2006

Australia: Work cancers massively under-estimated
About 5,000 Australians a year develop cancer after being exposed to cancer-causing substances at work - more than twice as many cases as previously estimated. Research by the Queensland Cancer Fund and University of Sydney found 11 per cent of all cancers in men and 2 per cent of cancers in women were linked to occupation, prompting doctors to warn that occupational health and safety regulations may be failing to protect workers.
Risks 261, 17 June 2006

Global: Fraudulent chrome cancer study downplayed risks
A highly influential occupational health journal has had to retract a paper on risks posed by cancer-causing chromium after it emerged the paper was not written by the scientists credited, but by consulting firm which has chromium industry clients.
EWG “Chrome-plated fraud” webpages

Canada: Job-related cancer killed firefighter
Days after he died from colon cancer, a firefighter finally won a legacy that will help other firefighters hit with job-related illnesses. Joe Adamkowski, 49, died on 14 May before learning the Workplace Safety Insurance Board had approved his claim for job-related cancer compensation.
Risks 259, 3 June 2006 • US firefighters’ union IAFF webpages on presumption laws in the US and Canada

Britain: Nat Semi cancer toll is “tip of the iceberg”
More than 70 cancer deaths at the National Semiconductor plant in Greenock, Scotland, could be the tip of the iceberg, health experts have warned. Experts have identified several types of cancer, including brain and breast tumours, which are four to five times higher than normal.
Risks 259, 3 June 2006

Britain: Cancer warning from bladder cancer widow
The widow of a process worker who died from bladder cancer caused by exposure to workplace chemicals is urging other at risk workers to seek immediate medical attention. Douglas Taylor worked for the Castleford company, Hickson and Welch, between 1961 and 1990 during which he came into contact with aromatic amines.
Risks 258, 27 May 2006

Australia: “Serious” concerns at building tumour link
A union has said there is a “serious problem” with an Australian university building that had to have its top floors evacuated after a cluster of brain tumours were discovered. University union NTEU has called on RMIT University in Melbourne to ensure the health and safety of its staff following reports that seven staff members working in the tower block have been diagnosed with brain tumours over the last seven years.
Risks 257, 20 May 2006

Britain: Warning on work skin cancer risk
Rising skin cancer rates have prompted renewed union warnings about reducing work-related risks from sunlight exposure. General union GMB said Britain’s 1 million outdoor workers should be protected.
Risks 257, 20 May 2006

Europe: Agreement on workplace silica risks
More than 2 million workers in many different sectors across Europe are to be covered by a joint union-employer pact to reduce risks from exposure to crystalline silica, a substance that can cause lung cancer, respiratory disease and which has been linked to kidney and autoimmune system problems.
Risks 254, 29 April 2006

Britain: Five year delay on microchip cancer study
A study into cancers at a Scottish microelectronics plant has not started after years of delays, with just eight months to go before it's supposed to finish. Top boffins from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) promised five years ago to undertake the study at the National Semiconductor in Greenock, says health and safety campaign group Phase II.
Risks 253, 22 April 2006

Canada: Push for new cancer prevention law
The Canadian government must do more to prevent cancers caused by industrial chemicals, campaigners have said. They are pushing the new Conservative government to ban or phase out some chemicals altogether.
Risks 248, 18 March 2006

Global: Asian silicosis victims to hit Europe
Two jewellery workers from China and two gem polishers from India will travel to Basel, Switzerland, to raise awareness of the deadly side effects of their jobs, particularly silicosis. The workers will attend a jewellery fair from 30 March to 4 April, and hope to have talks with a large number of organisations, including the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Risks 247, 11 March 2006

USA: Groups challenge deadly chrome standard
US government safety watchdog OSHA, under pressure from the courts to issue a health standard for a deadly workplace substance, has published a limit so lax “that workers will die,” health campaigners have warned.
Risks 246, 4 March 2006

USA: Job exposure to common pesticide linked to cancer
Workplace exposure to the common pesticide diazinon appears to increase the risk of lung cancer and possibly other cancers, according to a major study.
Risks 235, 3 December 2005

Britain: Cancer chemicals killing tens of thousands, says TUC
Britain is facing an occupational cancer epidemic that could be killing up to 24,000 people every year, four times official estimates, according to an authoritative new TUC report. The report by Hazards, the TUC-backed health and safety magazine, concludes that the incidence of occupational cancer in the UK is much higher, and suggests that it is between 12,000 and 24,000 deaths a year.
Risks 234, 26 November 2005

Canada: Firefighters win fight for cancer compensation
Firefighters in British Columbia (BC), Canada with certain kinds of work-related cancer will find it easier to get official compensation, thanks to rule changes agreed by the provincial government. The new law, which was introduced after a lengthy campaign by firefighters’ unions, will recognise leukaemia, brain cancer and five other kinds of cancer as occupational hazards for long-time firefighters.
Risks 231, 5 November 2005

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