Troy Winters | CUPE Health & Safety

Worried about exposure to cancer-causing carcinogens in your workplace? There’s an online resource that can help.

CAREX (short for CARcinogen EXposure) is a free online resource that provides information about 85 carcinogenic substances. CAREX Canada aims to identify the carcinogens Canadians are exposed to, determine where exposures are occurring, the number of Canadians exposed, and their levels of exposure.

The estimates provided by CAREX are designed to support exposure reduction strategies and cancer prevention programs. They also offer an entire page of exposure reduction resources.

Perhaps the most interesting item on the site is the Profiles & Estimates section. For each of the 85 substances, users can get a chemical profile, and in many cases a summary report of the occupational or environmental estimates.

Want an example? The CAREX profile for diesel exhaust indicates it to be Group 1 (definitely carcinogenic to humans) based on sufficient evidence for lung cancer and limited evidence for bladder cancer in humans. The page also contains a compilation of regulations and guidelines for diesel fuel use in Canada. The profile covers how occupational and environmental exposures occur, but more importantly offers an entire page of resources on exposure reduction resources. The occupational estimates page estimates diesel exhaust to affect 105,000 workers in the transit and ground passenger transportation.

According to their website, “Since 2007, CAREX Canada has been funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, an independent organization funded by Health Canada to accelerate action on cancer control.”

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