CARCINOGENICITY - What does that mean?

CARCINOGENICITY….. What does that mean?

A carcinogen is a substance or agent that causes the development of or increases the incidence of cancer.

For occupational cancers, prevention is likely to be more effective by implementing complementary actions such as education towards employers and workers, and review of workplace safety and standards on an ongoing basis.

The most effective means of preventing exposure is to ban the carcinogen. This is used for a small number of occupational carcinogens, with asbestos being the best-known example. Alternatively, a carcinogenic substance may be substituted with one that is not carcinogenic, or is less hazardous.

A potentially expensive, but effective means of preventing exposure to carcinogens is to introduce engineering controls, for example, ventilation, enclosure or partial enclosure. Other methods include isolation in which the carcinogen is separated from workers by distance or using robotics.

Safe working procedures refer to establishing procedures in the workplaces in order to reduce exposure to carcinogens and other occupational hazardous substances.

Hazardous substances are those can have an adverse effect on health, following worker exposure. Examples of hazardous substances include poisons, substances that cause burns or skin and eye irritation, and substances that may cause cancer, known as carcinogens. Many hazardous substances are also classified as dangerous goods.

Dangerous goods are substances that present an immediate hazard to people, property or the environment. Types of substances classified as dangerous goods include explosives, flammable liquids and gases, corrosives, chemically reactive or acutely (highly) toxic substances.

As a team we have presented information regarding this area to a number of businesses whom are now aware of what hazardous chemicals are and how this affects their health. It’s the old saying ‘WE DON’T KNOW UNTIL WE KNOW’.

Contact us for a hazardous substance / dangerous goods audit to be conducted, Material Safety Data Sheets to be updated and potentially a presentation on this topic to your employees and management team.

Also see a report by SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA relating to ...... Carcinogens in the workplace - Australian Workplace Exposure Study reports