Estimated number of cancers attributable to occupational exposures in France in 2017: an update using a new method for improved estimates

Publié le 25 juin 2021
Mis à jour le 19 juillet 2021

BACKGROUND: Over the last 50 years, occupational exposure to carcinogenic agents has been widely regulated in France. OBJECTIVE: Report population-attributable fraction (PAF) and number of attributable cancer cases linked to occupational exposure in France based on an updated method to estimate lifetime occupational exposure prevalence. METHODS: Population-level prevalence of lifetime exposure to ten carcinogenic agents (asbestos, benzene, chromium VI, diesel engine exhaust, formaldehyde, nickel compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, silica dust, trichloroethylene, wood dust) and two occupational circumstances (painters and rubber industry workers) were estimated using the French Census linked with MATGÉNÉ job-exposure matrices and French occupational surveys. PAF and number of attributable cancer cases were calculated using the estimated prevalence, relative risks from systematic review and national estimates of cancer incidence in 2017. RESULTS: The lifetime occupational exposure prevalences were much higher in men than in women ranging from 0.2% (workers in the rubber industry) to 10.2% in men (silica), and from 0.10% (benzene, PAH and workers in the rubber industry) to 5.7% in women (formaldehyde). In total, 4,818 cancer cases (men: 4,223; women: 595) were attributable to the ten studied carcinogens and two occupational circumstances, representing 5.2% of cases among the studied cancer sites (M: 7.0%; W: 1.9%). In both sexes, mesothelioma (M: 689 cases; W: 160) and lung cancer (M: 3,032; W: 308) were the largest cancer sites impacted by the studied occupational agents and circumstances. SIGNIFICANCE: A moderate proportion of the cancer cases in France is linked to carcinogens in occupational settings. Our method provides more precise estimates of attributable cancer taking into account evolution of exposure to occupational agents by sex, age and time. This methodology can be easily replicated using cross-sectional occupational data to aid priority making and implementation of prevention strategies in the workplace.

Auteur : Marant Micallef Claire, Charvat Hadrien, Houot Marie-Tülin, Vignat Jérôme, Straif Kurt, Paul Adèle, El Yamani Mounia, Pilorget Corinne, Soerjomataram Isabelle
Journal of exposure science & environmental epidemiology, 2021