Investigators from the Burden of Occupational Cancer in Canada project have recently published an article describing the economic burden of lung cancer and mesothelioma due to occupational exposure to asbestos in Canada. Results show that work-related asbestos exposure resulted in approximately $2.35 billion in costs for newly diagnosed lung cancer and mesothelioma cases in 2011. This includes health-related quality of life losses, direct costs such as health care and out of pocket expenses, and indirect costs such as output and productivity losses.
This research highlights the importance of the Canadian government’s ban on asbestos, set to take effect by 2018. It has received attention from multiple news outlets across North America.
The goal of the Burden Project is to estimate the number of cancers occurring in Canada due to occupational exposure to carcinogens, and the associated economic costs. The project is funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, and is a collaboration between the OCRC, CAREX Canada, the Institute for Work & Health, Alberta Health Services, University of British Columbia, Université de Montréal, Institute de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail, and Imperial College London.