TICAREX: Exposiciones laborales a agentes cancerígenos y plaguicidas en Costa Rica
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The European data system CAREX takes the workforce of a country grouped into 55 economic sectors according to the International Economic Activity Classification (IEAC) of the United Nations, the second 1968 revision and through the application of proportions of workers exposed to 139 carcinogenic agents based on data from industrial hygiene studies, converting it into the total workforce exposed to carcinogens by sector. . In this article we describe a modification and extension of of the CAREX system in order to calculate the number of workers exposed to carcinogens in Costa Rica. It is the first use of CAREX outside Europe (TICAREX) in Costa Rica, Central America, for 27carcinogens and 7 groups of pesticides thought to be of interest for the country, with separate estimations for men and women. The most frequent agents of exposure for the 1.3 million workers of Costa Rica were solar radiation (333,000 workers); diesel exhaust (278,000); paraquat and diquat (175,000); environmental tobacco smoke (71,000); hexavalent chromium compounds (55,000); benzene (52,000); mancozeb, maneb and zineb (49,000); chlorothalonil (38,000); wood dust (32,000); quartz (27,000); benomyl (19,000); lead and its inorganic compounds (19,000); tetrachloroethylene (18,000); and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (17,000). Owing to the different occupational distribution between the genders, exposures to formaldehyde, radon and methylene chloride were more frequent than pesticides, hexavalent chromium, wood dust, and quartz in women. Agriculture, construction, personal and domestic services, manufacture of wood products, mining, forestry, fishing, manufacture of electrical products, and bars and restaurants were sectors with frequent exposures. Substantial reduction of occupational and environmental exposures to these agents would significantly improve public and occupational health. Reduction of occupational exposures is usually also followed by improvement of environmental quality. Monitoring of exposures and health of workers and the general public is an essential element in the control of environmental contamination and human exposures.
FuenteArch Prev Riesgos Labor 2005; 8 (1): 30-37
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