Objectives Many human carcinogens were first discovered in the workplace. Even today the workers surveillance provides a unique opportunity to study and protect human health. However, a systematic exploration of cancer risk to evaluate whether workers are/were exposed to carcinogenic hazards is unusual in EU.
Methods and results In Italy such a system, based on available electronic archives, is active and has proven to be very effective to: (1) estimate the cancer risk by area, economic sector and cancer site; (2) identify new or unusual economic activities where carcinogenic hazards can be present; (3) produce new hypotheses of carcinogenic hazards; (4) identify cases of potential occupational origin.
Conclusions Based on our experience, and taking into account other EU experiences (eg, those of Nordic Countries), here we propose to set up a network of EU institutions and experts to assess the feasibility in each EU country of a systematic occupational cancer monitoring