Suggestion for the Prevention of Occupational Cancer in Korea

한국에서의 직업성 암 예방을 위한 제언

  • Received : 2010.09.10
  • Accepted : 2010.10.27
  • Published : 2010.12.30


There are millions of deaths from cancer worldwide every year. Among them, 4~10% are considered to be attributable to occupational factors and 0.6 million workers die annually from work-related cancers. Occupational cancers are relatively preventable compared with the cancers associated with other factors. In the developed countries, especially in Europe, there have been hundreds of occupational cancers reported annually in the respective nation-states. However, there were only 35 cases reported in Korea in the 1990s which were accepted as being work-related cancers. This difference might be related to a low level of recognition, detection, and acceptance of occupational cancer and carcinogens in Korea. To prevent the risk of exposure to carcinogens a comprehensive list of carcinogens must be prepared. This should be followed by timely dissemination of information which will enable fundamental controls to be implemented, such as the imposition of ban, substitution, and engineering controls. This will require setting up procedures to record the past use and exposure data and carrying out robust statistical analyses of that data on occupational cancers and carcinogens.


carcinogen;occupational cancer;control


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