Review of Canadian studies that have measured exposure to workplace carcinogens


There is a large body of research on occupational exposures in Canadian workplaces, but there is no central repository for this information. Having a database in which information from different studies could be collected and analyzed would allow researchers to identify overexposed worker populations, find gaps in the research, and build up background knowledge of the research that has been done in Canada. As well, information from these analyses could be used to inform regulatory policies and therefore improve the health and safety of Canadian workplaces.


This project has two main goals. First, to develop a database of Canadian studies that have measured exposure to occupational carcinogens by reviewing the literature and extracting relevant information such as exposure levels, industry, and occupation. Secondly, we aim to use the database to steer and supplement future research, such as our project on estimating the burden of cancer in Ontario.


A review of Canadian  carcinogenic exposure studies was conducted in collaboration with CAREX Canada, from which data such as “industry”, “job title”, and “exposure measurements” was extracted into a database. In addition, potential over-exposure was assessed by comparing the measurement to the corresponding Threshold Limit Value (TLV).


This database could steer and supplement future research involving occupational exposure of carcinogens, and become a valuable source of background information on carcinogenic exposures in Canada.

Current status:

A database has been developed and a literature review of Canadian exposure studies is nearing completion. To date, a total of 225 articles and reports have been identified as valid for inclusion and entered into the database.


Paul Demers (Occupational Cancer Research Centre and Cancer Care Ontario)
Kate Jardine (Occupational Cancer Research Centre)
Priyanka Raj (Occupational Cancer Research Centre)
Calvin Ge (CAREX Canada)
Cheryl Peters (CAREX Canada)