Workers Health & Safety Centre

IARC marks 50 years of cancer research

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is celebrating 50 years of researching preventable exposures to cancer-causing agents.
Created by the World Health Organizations in 1965, IARC is a leader in coordinating cancer research across organizations and countries. IARC Monographs programme, now in its 40th year, identifies and evaluates environmental causes of cancer in humans. Through working groups, subject experts from different disciplines review scientific evidence to assess whether a specific agent causes cancer.
IARC’s Monographs programme has reviewed some 900 agents, more than 400 of these have been identified as carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic or possibly carcinogenic to humans. Recent assessments of diesel engine exhaust and air pollution conclude they are carcinogenic to humans. Other specific work exposure assessments have found that occupational exposure as a painter can cause cancer.
IARC also collects and publishes data on the burden of cancer worldwide and helps educate and train cancer researchers. All of this, along with IARC’s specific research findings, help inform public health policy in aid of cancer prevention.
Marking the anniversary with a book documenting its first 50 years, IARC Director Dr. Christopher Wild said, “We cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem. Cancer prevention has to be a major part of the response and that is where IARC is positioned—to see research translated into effective prevention measures.”
Other related resources:
International Agency for Research on Cancer: The First 50 Years, 1965–2015
Most cancer not due to 'bad luck'
Occupational Cancer Research Centre
CAREX Canada
WHSC offers a wide range of training programs and resources to help workplace parties understand their legal duties and responsibilities related to workplace hazards including the prevention of toxic exposures. Many of these resources also offer essential insight into the information and tools needed to eliminate or reduce harmful workplace and environmental exposures.
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