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Occupational Cancer in the United Kingdom

David Coggon
Environmental Health Perspectives
Vol. 107, Supplement 2 (May, 1999), pp. 239-244
DOI: 10.2307/3434412
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3434412
Page Count: 6
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Occupational Cancer in the United Kingdom
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Abstract

Most of the known occupational hazards of cancer have occurred in the United Kingdom. Over recent decades a contraction of manufacturing industry and legal controls on carcinogens have led to reductions in exposure, but cases continue to occur, often as a consequence of exposures 20 or more years ago. By far the most important occupational cause of cancer in the United Kingdom is asbestos, which currently accounts for some 600 cases of mesothelioma and perhaps 100 cases of bronchial carcinoma per year. Recent trends suggest that the number of mesothelioma cases attributable to asbestos will increase over the next few decades. Exposure to sunlight in outdoor work may cause several hundred cases of nonmelanomatous skin cancer per year, and occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons could be responsible for a similar number of skin and lung tumors. Other known occupational hazards of cancer are unlikely to account for more than 100 cases per year in total.

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