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A 2-day Occupational Health and Safety Forum
The Forum's Title: New Strategies for Recognizing and Preventing Occupational Disease
March 3 & 4, 2005
Toronto, Canada
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Poster Session 1
The Occupational Cancer Research and Surveillance Project
Presented by: Dr. Jennifer Payne 1,2
Ruhee Chaudhry *
Bronwen Waller 1
Minh Do 1,2
Erin Pichora 1
Loraine Marrett 1,2
Occupational exposure to carcinogens is an important and preventable cause of cancer, however, there is no systematic surveillance system in Ontario. Therefore, the provincial cancer agency, Cancer Care Ontario (CCO), and the provincial workers compensation board, the Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB), have partnered to sponsor the Occupational Cancer Research and Surveillance Project in June 2002.
The project team is composed of staff whose work is overseen by a six-member Steering Committee representing both sponsoring agencies. Furthermore, an Advisory Committee, composed of representatives including research, labour and industry, provides input into the project and provides a forum for disse mination of the project findings to the stakeholder community.
The objectives of the project are:
  1. To evaluate opportunities for surveillance of occupational cancer through the Ontario Cancer Registry;
  2. To develop surveillance systems for both occupational cancers and carcinogen exposures;
  3. To identify research priorities; and
  4. To establish relationships with the stakeholder communities to allow for input into the project and to provide a means for dissemination of the work of the project.
Examples of work being conducted as part of the larger project include:
  1. The Burden of Mesothelioma in Ontario
    The incidence of mesothelioma, a cancer associated with asbestos, continues to rise in Ontario. Additional analyses will involve projecting the future burden of this cancer.
  2. Estimating the Burden of Work-Related Cancer in Ontario
    This project will show which and how many of the cancer cases recorded in the Ontario Cancer Registry file for, and then receive, compensation through WSIB.
  3. The Utility of CAREX as a Tool for Occupational Carcinogen Exposure Surveillance
    This Finnish database is being used to generate estimates of the number of Ontario workers exposed to various carcinogens. Ontario hygiene data will be used to refine the estimates.
Dr. Jennifer Payne
Cancer Care Ontario
620 University Ave
11th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2L7
416-971-5100 Ext 1266
1 Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
2 Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
* note that Ruhee Chaudhry has since left Cancer Care Ontario

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