7 Cancer Related Elements in Industrial Workplaces

Cancer is believed to be the hardest and the most expensive work related health problem that can be caused through excessive dust and fume exposure. There are several cancer related agents present in the working environment and that is why every industrial workplace should install dust extraction systems.

7 Cancer Related Elements in Industrial Workplaces

Crystalline Silica

Associated Cancer/s: Lung Cancer

Mode/s of Exposure: Inhalation

Crystalline Silica is an airborne agent present in mining, cutting and drilling processes. It can also be found in household cleaners, paints, bricks, ceramics and abrasives in soaps, etc. It is a component of soil, sand and rocks such as granite and quartzite.

Wood Dust

Associated Cancer/s: Cancers of the nasal cavities, paranasal sinuses and nasopharynx

Mode/s of Exposure: Inhalation

Wood dust is produced during cutting and sanding procedures. People who work in the logging and construction industries are most at risk.


Associated Cancer/s: Cancers of the lung, laryngeal and ovaries

Mode/s of Exposure: Inhalation, ingestion and sometimes through skin contact

Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals that form heat-resistant fibres. This agent is naturally found in rock formations. In the workplace, it is commonly found in some auto parts such as brakes and friction products.

Chromium (Hexavalent)

Associated Cancer/s: Lung cancer

Mode/s of Exposure: Inhalation, skin contact

Chromium is a natural substance that can turn into carcinogens when it is transformed to its hexavalent form through industrial processes. It is present in industrial wood preservative and also in stainless steel manufacturing plants.


Associated Cancer/s: Lung cancer

Mode/s of Exposure: Inhalation and ingestion

Cadmium is found in mineral deposits which are typically a silvery-white or blue metal colour. It is present in battery production workrooms. It is also used as a pigment in plastics and coatings for electronics.


Associated Cancer/s: Lung and skin cancer

Mode/s of Exposure: Inhalation, skin contact and ingestion

Arsenic is a tasteless and odourless natural element that is traced in all living matter. It is used in manufacturing batteries, ammunition, hardening copper and glassmaking.


Associated Cancer/s: Nasopharyngeal cancer and leukemia

Mode/s of Exposure: Inhalation, skin contact and ingestion

Formaldehyde is a colourless combustible gas that has a pungent odour. This substance is commonly used in manufacturing textiles, resins, wood products and plastics. It is also used as a preservative in the form of embalming fluid.

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