Exploring the Usefulness of Occupational Exposure Registries for Surveillance

The Case of the Ontario Asbestos Workers Registry (1986–2012)
Objective: The ongoing presence of asbestos in products used across workplaces in Canada reinforces the importance of occupational exposure surveillance. This study evaluates the usefulness of the Ontario Asbestos Workers Registry.
Methods: The study includes 30,829 workers aged 15 to 80 years. Researchers reported on the data quality and analyzed the proportions of workers exposed by industry, and standardized rates by geographic areas and over time.
Results: The incidence of exposure started to decrease around 1990; but about 2000 workers were still exposed annually until 2006. Results showed large geographical disparities. Unexpectedly, workers from industries other than construction reported exposure.
Conclusions: The Ontario Asbestos Workers Registry is a useful but challenging source of information for the surveillance of asbestos exposure in Ontario. The registry could benefit from well-defined surveillance objectives, a clear exposure definition, systematic enforcement, regular data analyses, and results dissemination.

Source: Koné Pefoyo, Anna J.; Genesove, Leon; Moore, Kris; Del Bianco, Ann; Kramer, Desre. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: October 2014, Volume 56, Issue 10, p. 1100–1110.

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