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How do I know if my health is at risk at work?

fireman hand in glove hold oxygen maskDo you work in an environment that puts you at risk of cancer? This could include working with harmful chemicals or being exposed to radiation. Even if you don’t work directly with harmful substances as part of your job, being around them may put you at a higher risk of cancer.

Any substance that is known to cause cancer is called a carcinogen. You are at highest risk when you breathe in carcinogens or absorb them through your skin.

Your level of risk depends on:

  • how often and how long your body is exposed to the carcinogen
  • how powerful the carcinogen is
  • whether you are exposed to other risk factors
  • how prone you are to certain types of cancer

Some workers may be more likely than others to be exposed to carcinogens, including:

  • construction workers
  • woodworkers
  • miners
  • farmers
  • workers in the chemical, rubber or dye industries
  • medical radiation technicians
  • firefighters

The type of carcinogens these workers may be around include:

There are lots of things you can do to protect yourself on the job. Check out what you can do to be safe at work.


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