Aim We aim to use the Canadian CAREX (CARcinogen EXposure) tool, adapted for local context, as a method to assess prevalence and level of exposure to priority occupational carcinogens in South Africa.
Methods The work entails first understanding the CAREX tool, and adapting it as well as reviewing its use in other countries (phase 1). Once the tool and database are prepared, we will gather publicly available data (i.e. Census data, information on chemical use, trade data, published and grey literature, expert consultation, etc.) on occupational exposure to carcinogens as well as exposure monitoring data (phase 2). We will consider all occupational health and safety legislation and its regulations regarding occupational exposure limits, and those carcinogens prioritised locally and internationally, for example by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. All data will be used to estimate the number of South African workers occupationally exposed to carcinogens (and where possible, their level of exposure) (phase 3). Ultimately, this will help guide the development of appropriate health promotion and worker protection programmes, among other resources aimed at cancer prevention (phase 4).
Results Here we will present the experience of the team during phase 1 of the project, including challenges and opportunities encountered.
Expected outcomes Key future outcomes include prevalence of exposure to occupational environmental carcinogens in the South African workplace; also proportions of the workforce in various occupational groups exposed to specific carcinogens; key occupational groups in need of protection; data and information that can be used to guide prevention programs.
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