World Cancer Day: 4th Feb
World Cancer Day is a global event that provides a platform to raise the profile and awareness of cancer. It was established by the Paris Charter on 4th February 2000 with an aim to promote research for curing and preventing the disease, improve services to those diagnosed, and mobilise the global community against cancer.
The UK's most recent statistics from 2014, show that there were 356,860 new cancer cases and 163,444 deaths that year, with lung cancer being the most frequent. Tobacco plays a significant factor in that statistic, but the environment plays another.
Construction workers are at greater risk of developing occupational cancer than any other industry group. Asbestos being the biggest culprit, followed closely by silica dust and exhaust fumes.
According to the Health and Safety Executive study, "past occupational exposure to known and probable carcinogens is estimated to account for about 5% of cancer deaths and 4% of cancer registrations currently occurring each year in Great Britain. This equates to about 8,000 cancer deaths and 13,500 new cancer registrations each year."
Of those figures, 41% of occupation-related new cases and 48% of occupation-related deaths were in construction workers, with around 70% of those deaths linked to asbestos. And whilst the HSE treats non-compliance with health issues very seriously, these numbers are not yet reducing fast enough.
So, unite with us and the rest of the world on Saturday 4th February 2017, to spread the word and help tackle this life-threatening disease.