Cancer due to occupation in Australia

Lin Fritschi, T.R. Driscoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This paper reviews previous attempts to estimate the proportion of cancers caused by occupational factors in Australia and overseas and calculates an estimate of the burden of occupational cancer in Australia.Methods: A literature review and discussion of previous estimations of occupationally caused cancers is used to inform the choice of data for a calculation of Australian estimates. Finnish estimates of the proportion of cancers caused by occupation were applied to Australian numbers of cancers. European Union estimates of the proportion of workers exposed to carcinogens were applied to Australian industrial profiles.Results: There are many uncertainties in the available data necessitating several assumptions, and the results should be interpreted cautiously. In Australia, we estimate that 5,000 invasive cancers and 34,000 non-melanoma skin cancers per year are caused by occupational exposures and 1.5 million workers are exposed to known carcinogens.Conclusions and Implications: These estimates are considerably higher than previous Australian estimates, and should act as a spur to elevate the importance of occupation as a cause of cancer in order to decrease the population burden of cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
JournalAustralia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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