Objectives Assess exposures to occupational carcinogens in Qatar
Method IARC conducted a review of environmental carcinogens (IARC Group 1 and 2A) in Qatar 2013. Information was ascertained from ministries and a survey among Qatar Petroleum associated companies
Results Major parts of the population are migrant workers; male migrant workers are primarily recruited for the construction and the oil-and gas industry, while female migrant workers mostly do domestic work. The predominant material for construction is lime stone with increasing use of gabbro containing low silica levels compared to quartz. Only small quantities of asbestos have been used. The technologies used for natural gas extraction in Qatar are mostly closed processes.
Conclusions Workers in construction and in the oil and gas sector are mainly migrant workers who remain in the country for short periods. Migrant workers are a particularly healthy group from within their home countries and if they develop cancer, it is likely to occur when they are older and have left Qatar. The impact of occupational exposures on cancer risk among industrial workers in Qatar can therefore not be estimated. It is however possible to measure exposures in these settings and establish adequate national regulations. Information on carcinogenic exposures in occupational settings from the European CAREX database is likely of limited use in Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries, due to use of different materials, processes and technologies.
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