Ann Occup Environ Med.  2018 ;30(1):4. 10.1186/s40557-018-0216-1.

Silica exposure and work-relatedness evaluation for occupational cancer in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, 222 Banpo-Daero, Seocho-Gu, Seoul, 137701 Republic of Korea. cyclor@catholic.ac.kr.
  • 2Occupational Lung Disease Institute, Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service, Incheon, Korea.

Abstract

Crystalline silica has been classified as a definite carcinogen (Group 1) causing lung cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). In Korea, crystalline silica has been the most common causal agent for workers to apply to the Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service (KWCWS). We used KWCWS data to evaluate workers' crystalline silica exposure levels according to their occupations and industries, and reviewed research papers describing the dose-response relationship between cumulative exposure levels and lung cancer incidence. In addition, we reviewed lung cancer cases accepted by the KWCWS, and suggest new criteria for defining occupational cancer caused by crystalline silica in Korea. Rather than confining to miners, we propose recognizing occupational lung cancer whenever workers with pneumoconiosis develop lung cancer, regardless of their industry. Simultaneous exposure and lag time should also be considered in evaluations of work-relatedness.

Keyword

Crystalline silica; Lung cancer; Pneumoconiosis

MeSH Terms

Crystallins
Incidence
International Agencies
Korea*
Lung Neoplasms
Miners
Occupations
Pneumoconiosis
Silicon Dioxide*
Workers' Compensation
Crystallins
Silicon Dioxide
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