Preventing Exposures To Occupational And Environmental Carcinogens: Case Studies From CAREX Canadaís Knowledge Translation Programme

Alison PALMER, Simon Fraser University, Canada
TELFER J. 1 , PETERS C. 2 , SETTON E. 3 , NICOL A. 1 , DEMERS P. 4

1 1. Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
2 2. Faculty of Health Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
3 3. Spatial Sciences Research Lab, Department of Geography, Victoria, Canada
4 4. Occupational Cancer Research Centre, Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, Canada

Purpose:
CAREX Canada is a national surveillance system that estimates the number of Canadians exposed to known or suspected carcinogens in workplace and community environments. Inspired by a project developed by the Finnish Institute of Health, CAREX Canada uses carcinogen classifications from IARC’s monographs programme to inform priorities for the Canadian setting. The challenge of our current mandate is to translate CAREX Canada’s surveillance resources in order to support those looking to better understand – and help reduce or eliminate – exposures to carcinogens across Canada. 

Methods:
The approach we’ve taken to addressing this challenge is to work closely with research, policy, and program specialists to mobilize our estimates of exposure based on needs as well as opportunities for action. Through these relationships, CAREX Canada has informed priorities, supported action, and enhanced capacity; the associated activities included developing tools to explore our estimates, packaging our information in various ways (i.e. by industry, occupation, jurisdiction, exposure pathway, cancer site), and offering training and knowledge sharing workshops.

Results:
The results of this work are a series of case studies of uptake and action. Three of these will be highlighted here: 1) informing exposure reduction priorities at a provincial workers’ compensation board and helping to monitor emerging issues such as exposure to antineoplastic drugs; 2) supporting action by providing the exposure evidence required for several not-for-profit organizations to pursue radon policy initiatives; and 3) enhancing capacity among First Nations groups to assess and address community concerns such as exposures in traditional foods and drinking water.

Conclusions:
This presentation will discuss the knowledge translation strategies and outcomes of these case studies, including lessons learned and opportunities for future work. 

Funding:
CAREX Canada is funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, with grants for First Nations knowledge translation from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research.