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Is exposure to a specific carcinogen associated with a certain type of cancer?
In many cases, certain types of cancer are associated with specific carcinogens. The table below lists some of these associations.
Please note: This list was complied from information available from reputable sources, but it is not complete . It represents associations that have been reported in literature between certain types of cancer and specific carcinogen exposures .
Exposure to a carcinogen does not necessarily mean that you will develop cancer. The OSH Answers on Occupational Cancer has more information.
|Cancer Sites Associated with Occupational or Environmental Carcinogen Exposures|
|Cancer Site||Examples of High-risk Substances||Examples of High-risk Processes, Industries and Occupations with Increased Risks|
|Lung||Arsenic and arsenic compounds; Asbestos; Benzo[a]pyrene; Beryllium; 1,3-Butadiene; Cadmium & cadmium compounds; Chromium (hexavalent) compounds; Coal tars & pitches; Diesel engine exhaust; Epichlorohydrin; Ionizing radiation; Mineral oils (untreated and mildly treated); Nickel and nickel compounds; Radon; Silica (crystalline); Soots; Strong inorganic acid mists containing sulfuric acid; Talc containing asbestiform fibers; 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD); Tobacco smoke - Involuntary (passive) smoking||Aluminum production; Asphalt workers; Coal gasification; Copper smelting; Hematite mining (underground) with radon exposure; Iron and steel founding; Isopropanol manufacture (strong acid process); Painters; Roofers; Uranium mining; Vineyard workers|
|Bladder||Aromatic amines (e.g. 4,4'-Methylene bis(2-chloroaniline) (MOCA), para-Chloroaniline, 2,6-Dimethylaniline (2,6-Xylidine)); Benzidine-based dyes; Benzo[a]pyrene; Coal tars & pitches; Diesel engine exhaust; Mineral oils (untreated and mildly treated); ortho-Toluidine||Barbers; Cable makers; Calendar operatives; Chemical/petroleum workers; Coke production; Dry cleaners; Firefighters; Gas-retort house workers; Hairdressers; Machinists; Manufacturing of: magenta, auramine, p-chloro-o-toluidine, pigment chromate, and dyes; Miners; Painters; Pipefitters; Plumbers; Rubber or dye industries; Sheet metal workers; Synthetic latex production; Tire curing;|
|Mesothelioma||Asbestos; Talc containing asbestiform fibres||Blasters; Boilermakers; Bricklayers; Construction workers; Drillers; Electricians; Machinists; Mechanics; Miners; Pipefitters; Plumbers; Sheet metal workers; Shipbuilding workers; Welders|
|Leukemia||Benzene; Ethylene oxide; Ionizing radiation;||Boot and shoe manufacturing and repair; Firefighters; Rubber industry|
|Laryngeal cancer||Asbestos; Mineral oils; Sulfuric acid||Isopropanol manufacture; Pickling operations|
|Skin||Arsenic and arsenic compounds; Coal tar & pitches; Creosotes; Mineral oils (untreated and mildly treated); Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) like benzo[a]pyrene, benz[a]anthracene; and dibenz[a,h]anthracene; Shale oils or shale-derived lubricants; Solar radiation; Soots||Coal gasification; Coke production; Outdoor workers; Vineyard workers|
|Nasal cavities & paranasal sinuses||Chromium (hexavalent) compounds; Formaldehyde; Selected nickel compounds including combinations of nickel oxides & sulfides in the nickel refining industry; Wood dust||Boot and shoe manufacturing and repair; Carpenters; Furniture and cabinet making; Isopropanol manufacture (strong acid process); Miners; Plumbers; Pulp and paper mill workers; Textile workers; Welders|
|Kidney||Trichloroethylene (renal cell)||Coke production|
|Liver & biliary tract||Ionizing radiation; Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); Trichloroethylene||Dry cleaning; Electrical components; Electricity generation, production, distribution, repair|
|Liver||Arsenic and arsenic compounds; Occupational infections with hepatitis B and C; Vinyl chloride (angiosarcoma, hepatocellular)||Health care workers; Smelting of ores containing arsenic; Pesticide application; Vinyl chloride production; Wood preservation|
|Cervix||Tetrachloroethylene||Laundry and dry cleaners|
|Colorectal||Acrylonitrile||Acrylonitrile production; Firefighters|
|Gastrointestinal tract||Asbestos||Asbestos mining; Insulation material production (pipes, sheeting, textiles, clothes, masks, asbestos cement products); Insulators and pipe coverers; Shipyard and dockyard workers|
|Larynx||Asbestos; Strong inorganic acid mists containing sulfuric acid||Insulation material production (pipes, sheeting, textiles, clothes, masks, asbestos cement products); Insulators and pipe coverers; Isopropanol manufacture (strong-acid process); Shipyard and dockyard workers|
|Lymphohematopoietic||1,3-Butadiene||1,3-Butadiene production; Styrene-butadiene rubber production|
|Lymphoma (non-Hodgkin)||Nonarsenical insecticides; 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD); Tetrachloroethylene; Trichloroethylene||Dry cleaning; Farmers, farm workers; Firefighters; Insecticide application|
|Pancreas||Acrylamide||Chemists and other laboratory workers; Tanners and processors|
|Pharynx & nasopharynx||Formaldehyde||Embalmers; Formaldehyde production; Laboratory workers; Medical personnel; Plywood production / particle-board production|
Current perspectives on occupational cancer risks. P. Bofetta, et al. International journal of occupational and environmental health, Vol. 1, no. 4 (1995). p. 315-325
Carex: Most Common Occupational Exposures to IARC Agents- Ontario/British Columbia, Canada 2001 Census Data - 09-Jan-08
Occupational Medicine Clinical Update - Occupational Carcinogens - What makes it on the list. Fall 2005 - Occupational Health Workers for Ontario Workers Inc. (OHCOW)
Listing occupational carcinogens. J. Siemiatycki, et al. Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 112, no. 15 (2004). p. 1447-1459
Perceptions of the causes of bladder cancer, nasal cancer, and mesothelioma among cases and population controls. K. Teschke and L. van Zwieten. Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. Vol. 14, no. 12 (1999). p. 819-826
World Health Organization. Prevention of occupational cancer. The Global Occupational Health Network (GOHNET) Newsletter, Issue No. 11 (2006)
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