Lung Cancer Resources

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies substances based on their carcinogenicity to humans. According to IARC, exposure to some substances or occupations may increase the risk of lung cancer.

The following occupational exposures increase the risk of lung cancer:

  • Dusts and fibres: asbestos, silica
  • Metals and metal compounds: arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium (VI) compounds, nickel compounds
  • Exposure circumstances: coal gasification, coke production, iron and steel founding, painting
  • Chemical agents: bis(chloromethyl)ether and chloromethyl methyl ether, coal-tar pitch, soot
  • Radon gas
  • Diesel engine exhaust

There is limited evidence that the following occupational exposures may increase the risk of lung cancer:

  • Strong inorganic acid mists
  • Bitumen exposure during roofing
  • Carbon electrode manufacture
  • alpha-Chlorinated toluenes and benzoyl chloride
  • Cobalt metal with tungsten carbide
  • Creosotes
  • Diazinon
  • Emissions from high temperature frying


Who is exposed?

CAREX Canada estimates the number of Canadians exposed to carcinogens in the workplace. See the CAREX Canada carcinogen profiles for more information on exposures associated with lung cancer and the related industries and occupations:


What is the evidence?

See the IARC monographs for more information on the scientific evidence linking these substances or exposure circumstances with increased risk of lung cancer:

For more information on how IARC classifies carcinogens, read this fact sheet.


OCRC Resources