World Lung Cancer Day: free resources available to tackle risks at work

Today, on World Lung Cancer Day (1 August 2017), the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is encouraging businesses to use its free No Time to Lose campaign materials to raise awareness among employees of lung cancer caused by work and to help prevent new cases.

No Time to Lose highlights workplace carcinogens such as diesel fumes, silica dust and solar radiation, which can cause cancer, and provides businesses with free practical materials to tackle these risks.

World Lung Cancer Day, organised by The American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) with members of the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), commemorates and supports those impacted by lung cancer. It aims to raise awareness about the disease and its global impact, educate people to understand lung cancer risks as well as explaining treatment around the world.

In the European Union (EU), there are nearly 4,700 cases of lung cancer and more than 4,200 deaths each year linked to diesel exhaust fumes exposure at work.

In Britain, exposure to diesel fumes in the workplace claims 650 people every year, with around 800 new cases registered annually.

Lung cancer caused by silica dust (most often associated with construction activities) kills nearly 800 people a year in Britain, and in the EU it is estimated there are around 5 million people exposed to silica dust in the workplace.

Reports also suggest that overseas, in countries such as China, more than 23 million people have been exposed to silica dust through the work they do.

Kate Field, Head of Information and Intelligence at IOSH, said:

“Lung cancer caused by exposure to diesel fumes and silica dust at work is preventable.

“Businesses can eliminate or minimise risks to workers by making simple changes to the way they work. Involving workers in these changes and training them on the risks will help make them successful. Monitoring levels of exposure and undertaking individual health surveillance ensures these changes are really protecting workers.

“We have developed lots of free materials for businesses to help them identify the simple changes that can be made – they can all be found on the No Time to Lose website.

“We are also encouraging businesses to sign up to our No Time to Lose campaign pledge to help tackle occupational cancer by putting in place prevention strategies. Over 100 businesses worldwide are already leading the way by pledging to take action to prevent occupational cancer.

“By raising awareness now, we can protect the health of current and future workers.”

The next phase of the No Time to Lose campaign will focus on raising awareness of the biggest cause of occupational cancer – asbestos – and will be launched next year.

To sign up to IOSH’s No Time to Lose campaign pledge and get free resources to manage diesel fumes and silica dust at work, go to www.notimetolose.org.uk.

Keep up to date with the latest campaign news by following @_NTTL on Twitter, and help raise awareness of lung cancer caused by work using the hashtag #WorldLungCancerDay.