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Recent estimates demonstrated that occupational cancer accounted for 27% of the 2.4 million deaths due to work-related diseases.1–3 In numerical terms, this estimate means that the number of deaths attributable to occupational cancer annually increased from 666 000 deaths in 2011 to 742 000 deaths in 2015.2 3 This increase could be explained by different variables such as the evidence on new carcinogens, the methods of estimation, changes in the industry distribution of workers and the growing and ageing of the population. The International Labour Organization (ILO) released global data showing this increase in the number of fatal work-related cancers that occur every year,3 4 whereas, in the European Union (EU) alone, occupational cancer was responsible for 102 500 deaths in 2011 and 106 300 in 2015.2–5
Considering these data, it is clear that occupational cancer now represents the primary cause for work-related deaths globally and in many regions of the world, and the numbers continue to grow. In spite of efforts for prevention and control by several international organisations, institutions and authorities, the level of occupational cancer mortality and morbidity has remained high. Part of the reason for this is that current burden reflects the effect of past exposures and so provides little insight into the effectiveness of recent (in the last two decades) control measures. However, burden estimates do indicate that systems in place in past decades do not appear to have been effective enough, and there is good reason to suspect many of these systems, or systems similar to them, remain in place in many regions. For this reason, occupational cancer prevention was a key theme of the 32nd International Congress on Occupational Health (ICOH) held in Dublin from 29 April to 4 May 2018.6 The Dublin Statement on Occupational Health ‘New Avenues for Prevention of Occupational Cancer …
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