IARC Carcinogen Classification Workshop – February 14, 2012

The Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) hosted a workshop on the classification of carcinogens, held on Tuesday, February 14th, 2012, from 12:00pm – 5:00pm at the United Steelworkers Hall.  This workshop aimed to educate and inform attendees on the carcinogen classification process used by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), highlighting how epidemiological, toxicological and animal studies are used in this process.  The classification of shiftwork was used to exemplify the classification procedures employed by IARC.  Additionally, the subsequent policy implications of an IARC classification were discussed.


Workshop materials

Copies of all workshop handouts are provided below. The Preamble to the IARC Monographs, the Lancet article on shiftwork, and the IARC evidence summary for shiftwork can also be found on the IARC website.


Biographies of workshop leaders

IARC backgrounder

Preamble to the IARC Monographs

Lancet article on the carcinogenicity of shiftwork, painting, and firefighting

IARC evidence summary for shiftwork



Exposure Data and Human Studies
Dr. Paul Demers, Occupational Cancer Research Centre

Experimental Animal and Mechanistic Studies
Dr. David Blask, Tulane University School of Medicine


Ontario Cancer Fact

The OCRC has prepared an Ontario Cancer Fact that summarizes the process by which IARC classifies carcinogens, and the meanings of the ratings. Click here to view the Cancer Fact. 


Educational video on  IARC and the classification of carcinogens

A seven part module that describes how the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies carcinogens, based on materials from this workshop.

Module 1: Introduction to IARC

Module 2: Shiftwork

Module 3: Studies of shiftwork and cancer in humans

Module 4: How IARC evaluates animal studies

Module 5: How light at night affects the body

Module 6: Studies of light at night and cancer in experimental animals

Module 7: The evaluation and its role in cancer prevention