Australian Work Exposures Study (AWES) - Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 (the Strategy) describes work-related cancer as a priority disorder and understanding current hazardous exposures and the effectiveness of controls as a research priority. The Australian Work Exposures Study (AWES) was a national survey that investigated work-related exposures among Australian workers to 38 agents classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as known or suspected carcinogens. Some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are classified as a known or suspected human carcinogens by the IARC and the work described in this report uses AWES data to:
• estimate the prevalence of work-related exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during relatively common workplace activities
• identify the main circumstances of those exposures, and
• identify the use of workplace control measures designed to decrease those exposures.
This report describes those exposures that occur when typical work activities are carried out by Australian workers - it does not specifically focus on industries suspected of high exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

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