8% of EU cancer is work related


A book launched today claims that 8% of all cancer cases are work-related: making up 12% of cancer cases among men and 7% of cancer cases among women.  

The book was published by the ETUI and launched at a conference in Brussels today on women and cancer.

Opening the Conference organised by the ETUI, Esther Lynch, ETUC Confederal Secretary said “Work-related cancer among women is still being underestimated.

“The rate of occupational cancer among men and women should be a wake-up call to employers, health and safety representatives and cancer researchers to take a fresh look at the problems and how to prevent them.

“Women’s occupational cancer cannot continue to be neglected.  Work-related cancer should not be seen exclusively as an issue for male-dominated work in traditional industries. The impact of working conditions and factors such as chemical, physical and biological exposures are ignored in work that is predominantly done by women. There are significant gaps in knowledge about women and occupational cancer as well as in action to prevent it. One area in urgent need of more attention is the impact of long hours of work and night work as a cause of breast cancer. Shift work that involves body-clock disruption and sedentary work has repeatedly been identified as contributing to work-related cancer and there is increasing evidence that work-related stress may indirectly lead to cancers.

“Women workers need to know what substances they are exposed to on the job and the potential health impacts of those substances.  Women workers and their unions need to be included in discussions to improve their working conditions and prevent occupational cancer.”

For more on the book ‘Cancer and work’, edited by Tony Musu and Laurent Vogel, see https://www.etui.org/Publications2/Books/Cancer-and-work-understanding-occupational-cancers-and-taking-action-to-eliminate-them

For more on the conference ‘Women and cancer’ see  https://www.etui.org/Events/Conference-Women-Work-and-Cancer

Press release