100 Organisations Pledge to Bring an End to Occupational Cancer

It was announced this week that Wills Bros Civil Engineering Ltd will be the 100th business that has signed up and pledged their support for the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) ‘No Time to Lose’ campaign.[1] 

Launched in November 2014, the campaign is raising awareness of occupational cancer around the world, offering a six-step plan of action to manage and protect against carcinogenic exposure in the workplace, additional to the supply of free, practical resources.

Shelley Frost, IOSH Executive Director of Policy, said:

‘It’s estimated that cancer related to work causes about 666,000 deaths a year worldwide, and the biggest killer is asbestos.  So it’s good timing, during Global Asbestos Awareness Week this week, that we can announce our 100th pledger for No Time to Lose … Through the efforts of these outstanding businesses, almost half a million employees are now aware of carcinogens such as asbestos, diesel fumes, silica dust and solar radiation … It’s fantastic to see support for our campaign growing day by day, but there’s still more that needs to be done … Next year we’ll be launching free resources to help businesses worldwide raise awareness of, and manage, the risks of exposure to asbestos.  We believe by working together, we can beat occupational cancer.’

Moreover, Shelley Frost refers to diesel fumes, silica dust and solar radiation as other carcinogenic sources. It may be of interest, therefore, to note that in edition 140 of BCDN (here), we provided an update on diesel fumes and occupational disease, developing on previous feature articles and highlighting the latest scientific literature, suggestive of the fact that exposure damages DNA, an indicative characteristic of carcinogenicity.

In edition 148 (here), in the first of two feature articles on ultraviolet radiation, we included the large-scale Imperial College study, titled: ‘The Burden of Occupational Cancer In Great Britain’, which was a ‘No Time To Lose’ backed investigation into malignant melanoma at work.

Features on other potential workplace carcinogens, such as diesel fumes and silica dust can be found (here) and (here).



[1] ‘100 leading businesses pledge to prevent occupational cancer’ (03 April 2017 IOSH) <https://www.iosh.co.uk/News/100-leading-businesses-pledge-to-prevent-occupational-cancer.aspx> accessed 3 April 2017.