International health professionals hear about efforts to eliminate occupational cancer

25 August 2017

Epidemiologists, industrial hygienists, and occupational health scientists from around the world are set to find out how the No Time to Lose campaign led by IOSH, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, is working with more than 100 businesses to tackle the world’s biggest workplace killer.

The experts gather for the 26th International Epidemiology in Occupational Health (EPICOH) Conference at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre from 28–31 August 2017.

The event is themed around ‘Eliminating Occupational Risk: Translating Research into Action’. Its focus is to draw together the latest work from scientists around the world and synthesize their conclusions into a series of actions they seek to implement in their work.

During the Conference, medical statistician and epidemiologist Dr Lesley Rushton, from Imperial College London, will explain the methodology behind her ground-breaking research study – The Burden of Occupational Cancer in Great Britain – and how IOSH used it as a basis for its campaign.

Dr Lesley Rushton said:

“Our research found that about 5.5 per cent of all cancers occurring in Britain each year are caused by exposure to carcinogens at work leading to 8,000 deaths annually.
“Construction workers were of particular concern and important carcinogens included asbestos, respirable crystalline silica, solar radiation, and diesel engine exhaust emissions.
“The IOSH ‘No Time to Lose’ campaign is a major international effort to encourage employers and governments to make occupational cancer a priority and provides valuable information for workers and managers.”

No Time to Lose raises awareness of occupational cancer globally and helps businesses take action by providing free practical resources so workplaces can effectively tackle preventable cancers caused by carcinogens such as asbestos, silica dust, diesel particulates and solar radiation.

Ivan Williams, Research and Development Adviser at IOSH, will show No Time to Lose, the Institution’s research reports and free guidance at the conference. He said:

“The global study on occupational cancer found that a staggering 666,000 people are dying a year worldwide from this dreadful disease.
“IOSH, as the world's biggest professional health and safety membership organisation and registered charity, launched the No Time to Lose campaign in 2014 to help tackle this significant health issue.
“We worked with leading academics and occupational health scientists when developing the campaign’s free practical resources. The materials designed aim to provide businesses with information on how to prevent exposure to carcinogens such as diesel fumes, solar radiation and silica dust in the workplace.
“Since we launched that campaign in 2014 more than 70,000 resources have been downloaded from the campaign website and over 100 leading businesses around the world have pledged to adopt prevention strategies to reduce exposure to carcinogens at work.”

To get involved in IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign and to download free resources to prevent occupational cancer, go to www.notimetolose.org.uk.

The conference will also highlight essential areas of workplace health and epidemiology such as occupational cancer, ageing workforce, musculoskeletal disorder and psychosocial risks through presentations, discussions and networking. To find out more about EPICOH, visit the website.

Contact details

Marcus Boocock, Communications Officer, +44 (0) 116 257 3139 or +44 (0)798 000 4474

Simon Butt-Bethlendy, PR Manager, +44 (0)116 257 3371 or +44 (0)779 060 7217

Jasmeen Daji, Campaigns Communications Co-ordinator, +44 (0)116 257 3258 or +44 (0)7792 599 725