Objectives To describe the process of building CAREX research capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
Methods In LAC, CAREX projects were previously developed in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, and Colombia based on adaptations of the European model. CAREX Canada recently engaged in a capacity development project to assist more local teams to implement the CAREX tool for their contexts, and to develop methods to prioritise carcinogens for assessment. Over a dozen LAC countries participated in a workshop describing the CAREX approach, knowledge translation, and applications of CAREX data in occupational cancer research. A detailed technical guide was prepared on CAREX methods and how they can be adapted. A network has been established to provide ongoing assistance to LAC countries currently developing CAREX projects.
Results Some of the key challenges identified by local partners are a lack of exposure measurement data, establishing appropriate proportion exposed values, and obtaining detailed labour force data. There is an opportunity to develop novel methods to incorporate informal workers in exposure estimates, advancing upon what has been done in Central American CAREX projects. Countries with similar industrial composition, occupational carcinogen exposures, and/or worker demographics are collaborating on their national CAREX initiatives. New CAREX projects are underway in Peru and the Caribbean and Southern Cone.
Conclusions International collaboration has fostered the development of CAREX in LAC, where improved surveillance of occupational carcinogen exposures represents an important avenue for cancer prevention.
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