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What benefits am I entitled to with a cancer workers’ compensation claim
How can I prove that my cancer is work related
Cancer Litigation What trends are you seeing
If I smoked, can I still make a cancer workers’ compensation claim
What is general occupational exposure?

Types of Cancer

Occupational cancer is caused by exposure to carcinogens in the workplace. Carcinogens are agents or chemicals that cause the development or increase in the incidence of cancer.  Cancer is not a single disease.  It strikes when cells grow in an abnormal and often uncontrolled manner.  As there are many types of cancer and diagnoses.  Each can have a varying or specific set of causes and factors including personal habits like smoking or alcohol consumption, genetics, gender, ethnicity, and exposure to carcinogens. The following is list of Cancers and the potential Chemical Links to each Cancer.

Aplastic anemia- is linked to airplane fuels and the jet fuel industry

Bladder Cancer can be caused by arsenic, aromatic amines, coal tars, diesel fuel  and exhauset, hairdressing chemicals, metalworking fluids and mineral oils, paints and painting chemicals, rubber products.

Bone Cancer can be caused by ionizing radiation.

Brain Cancer can also be caused by ionizing radiation.  Many Cancers also metastasize or spread to the brain.

Breast Cancer can be caused by exposure to Estrogen, Progesterone, Compounding chemicals, radiation, ethylene oxide.

Colorectal Cancer Increased colorectal cancer has been reported in workers exposed to mineral oils in the operation of printing, typesetting, and textile processing machines. There was an association between rectal cancer and machinists exposed to mineral-based metalworking fluids.  Some studies have shown a small excess risk for workers exposed to asbestos.  Colon cancer was not associated with ionizing radiation exposure in studies of radiologists, underground miners, nuclear workers, or uranium processors.

Esophagus Cancer Some studies suggest associations with occupational exposures to perchloroethylene, mustard gas, silica dust, metal dust, asbestos, combustion products, sulfuric acid, carbon black, and ionizing radiation.  Based on heavier exposure levels that existed in the past, two groups that showed higher risks for cancer of the esophagus were workers who vulcanized rubber  automobile assembly .  There is also evidence that occupational exposure to soots and tetrachloroethylene cause esophageal cancer. 

Eye Melanoma has links to Welding.

Kidney Cancer has been linked to Trichloroethylene, arsenic, cadmium, and coke production in the petroleum industry.

Laryngeal Cancer possible occupational risks include exposure to nickel, asbestos, and ionizing radiation.  Studies have found strong associations between laryngeal cancer and occupational exposures to mustard gas manufacturing, nickel refining, and metalworking with mineral-based oils. Possible risk factors are leather workers, textile workers, and exposure to gasoline, diesel oil, and mineral oil.  There is strong evidence that the following are occupational carcinogens: isopropanol manufacture, strong acid process; inorganic acid mists containing sulfuric acid; and mustard gas. There is suggestive evidence that exposure to asbestos and the rubber industry are associated with an increased risk of work-related laryngeal cancer. Sulfuric acid mists also have a link as does Asbestos.

Leukemia represent 3% of all malignant neoplasms. There is strong evidence for associations between the following and occupational leukemia: boot and shoe manufacture and repair, benzene, ionizing radiation, and ethylene oxide. It also has links to Formaldehyde, Ionizing radiation and many chemical in the Rubber production industry. Insecticides in the farming, landscaping and sporting industries also have connections.

Liver Cancer has links to radiation, trichloroethylene, vinyl choloride, Aflatoxins, Plutonium, Viruses (hepatitis B and hepatitis C).

Lung Cancer perhaps the largest occupational exposure Cancer issues arise in the lungs.  Asbestos is the most discussed.  It leads to Asbestosis and Mesothelioma. Processes strongly associated with occupational lung cancer include : aluminum production, coke production, coal gasification, Arsenic and compounds, underground hematite mining (radon), iron and steel founding, nickel refining (nickel oxides and sulfides), painters, and passive smoking.  strongly associated with occupational lung cancer: arsenic compounds, hexavalent chromium compounds,  beryllium, cadmium compounds, ionizing radiation, crystalline silica, soots, and talc containing asbestiform fibers. Bis(chloromethyl)ether and chloromethyl methyl ether  were strongly associated with lung cancer.  There is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of coal-tar pitch as encountered in paving and roofing. Coal-tar pitch as encountered in paving and roofing causes cancer of the lung.  Ionizing radiation was strongly associated with lung cancer in studies of patients treated with radiation for Hodgkin’s disease, underground mining. Diesel exhaust had been reclassified as a Group 1 carcinogen which is a cause of lung cancer.

Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin the evidence for increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in exposed workers is “suggestive” for the following agents: non-arsenical insecticides, TCDD, tetrachloroethylene, and trichloroethylene. The evidence is also suggestive for hairdressers and barbers.There are reported increased risks among farmers, printers, medical professionals, electronic workers, and leather workers, rubber workers.”

Mesothelioma, Peritoneal Cancer associated directly with asbestos exposure in the digestive process, Stomach. 

Mesothelioma, Pleural  is Lung Cancer associated with asbestos exposure; 

Multiple Myeloma, Adenocarcinoma  there are many links to thee general cancers, including asbestos.

Nasal Sinus Cancer agents associated with sino-nasal cancer include cigarette smoking, wood and leather dust, nickel refining, chromates, mustard gas manufacturing, isopropanol manufacturing (sulfuric acid mists), and possibly formaldehyde and welding.  Softwood dust is associated with squamous cell carcinoma, and hardwood dust is associated with adenocarcinoma of the nasal cavity. An increased risk exists for sawmill workers, furniture workers, wood products workers, and carpenters. 

Nasopharynx Cancer there is suggestive evidence that mustard gas and formaldehyde can cause occupational nasopharyngeal cancer. 

Ovarian Cancer  Although remote there are some links of Asbestos to cancer through work but there is a significant amount of literature on Talc and Talc products having a link. There are also cases of metastasized Cancers.

Prostate Cancer Epidemiologic reports of excess risk of prostate cancer among cadmium-exposed workers, mainly in battery production or smelting operations. Cadmium can be found in some insecticides and fertilizers, and exposure can occur in several workplaces such as those of smelters, nickel-cadmium battery operations, mines, metal construction sites, and rubber production.

Skin Cancer the major risk for outdoor workers is exposure to ultraviolet light. Other agents carcinogenic to the skin include: PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) such as coal tar, shale oil, or mineral oils, arsenic (pesticide manufacturing; sheep dip; copper, lead or zinc smelting); and ionizing radiation (radiologists);  Arsenic exposure is associated with an increased risk of basal cell cancer after a long latency. Sun exposure increases risk for basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma. Chronic arsenic poisoning causes keratoses of palms and soles, patchy hyper-pigmentation, and skin cancer (squamous and basal cell). Arsenic and compounds; coal tars and pitches; coal gasification; coke production;  mineral oils,  shale oils or shale-derived lubricants; solar radiation; and soots have also been linked to Skin cancers. 

Cancer risks in the workplace

Occupation or industry Suspected Substance Sites
Aluminum Production Pitch volatiles; aromatic amines Lungs, bladder
Arsenical insecticide production and packaging Arsenic compounds Lungs
Battery manufacture Cadmium and cadmium compounds Respiratory and digestive systems, prostate
Beer brewers Alcohol Upper aero-digestive tract
Beryllium refining and machining; production of beryllium-containing products Beryllium and beryllium compounds Lungs
Boot and shoe manufacture and repair Leather dust; benzene and other solvents Leukemia, nose, paranasal sinuses, bladder
Butchers and meat workers Viruses; PAHs Lungs
Carpentry and joinery Wood dust Nose and sinus cavities
Ceramic and pottery workers Crystalline silica Lungs
Coal gasification Coal tar; coal tar fumes; PAHs Skin (including scrotum), bladder, lungs
Coke production Coal tar fumes Skin (including scrotum), lungs, bladder, kidneys
Occupation or industry Suspected Substance Sites
Dry cleaning Solvents and chemicals used in ‘spotting’ leukemia), brain (tumours), liver, bile ducts
Electricity: generation, production, distribution, repair Extremely low-frequency magnetic fields; PCBs Lungs, sinonasal cavities
Electroplating Chromium VI compounds; cadmium and cadmium compounds Lungs, sinonasal cavities
Epichlorohydrin production Epichlorohydrin Lungs, Leukemia
Ethylene oxide production Ethylene oxide Leukemia, stomach
Farmers, farm workers Not identified Leukemia, lymphoma
Fishermen UVR Skin, lips
Flame retardant and plasticiser use PCBs Nasopharynx, sinus cavities
Furniture and cabinet making Wood dust Nose and sinus cavities
Gas workers Coal carbonisation products; 2- naphthylamine Lungs, bladder, scrotum
Glass workers (art glass, glass containers and pressed glassware) Arsenic and other metal oxides; antimony oxides asbestos; lead; silica; PAHs Lungs
Occupation or industry Suspected Substance Sites
Hairdressers and barbers Dyes (aromatic amines, aminophenols with hydrogen peroxide); solvents; propellants; aerosols Bladder, lungs, lymphatic system (non-Hodgkin lymphoma), ovaries
Hematite mining, Iron Ore Mining Radon daughters; silica; Asbestos Lungs, Digestive, Leukemia
Iron and steel founding PAHs; silica; metal fumes; formaldehyde Lungs
Isopropanol manufacture (strong-acid process) Diisopropyl sulfate; isopropyl oils; sulphuric acid Paranasal sinuses, larynx, lungs
Machinists PAH's, Solvents Leukemia
Magenta manufacture Magenta; ortho-toluidine; 4,4´- methylenebis (2-methylaniline); ortho-nitrotoluene Bladder
Mechanics, welders, etc. in motor vehicle manufacturing PAHs; welding fumes; engine exhaust Lungs
Medical personnel Ionising radiation Skin,Leukemia
Painters Not identified Lungs, bladder, stomach
Petroleum refining PAHs Bladder, brain, Leukemia (leukaemia)
Pickling operations Inorganic acid mists containing sulphuric acid Sinus cavities, lungs
Printing processes Solvents; inks; oil mist Leukemia, mouth, lungs, kidney
Occupation or industry Suspected Substance Sites
Roofers, asphalt workers PAHs Lymphopoietic tissue, lungs
Pulp and paper mill workers Not identified Lungs, bladder, Leukemia
Railway workers, filling station attendants, bus and truck drivers, operators of excavating machines Diesel engine exhaust; extremely low-frequency magnetic fields Bladder, stomach, larynx, Leukemia, lungs
Rubber industry Aromatic amines; solvents Bladder, stomach, larynx, Leukemia, lungs
Synthetic latex production, tyre curing, calendering operatives (calendering is a finishing process used on cloth), reclaim rubber, cable makers Aromatic amines Bladder
Textile manufacturing industry Textile dust in the manufacturing process; dyes and solvents in dyeing and printing operations Bladder, sinonasal cavities, mouth
Sandblasting of textiles (e.g. jeans) Silica dust Lungs
Vineyard workers using arsenic insecticides Arsenic compounds Lungs, skin, lips