In Brazil, data on work-related diseases and injuries are commonly recorded by the Brazilian Social Security Institute, INSS, which covered 32% of the economically active population, approximately 32 million workers, in 2009. Industries known to be associated with potential exposure of workers to carcinogenic substances are spread throughout the country and account for a substantial proportion of the labour force. There are no published work-related cancer statistics. This study describes the national distribution of occupational cancer cases leading to compensation benefit in Brazil, from 2000 and 2007.
Methods The study population comprised of all insured workers eligible for work-related compensation benefits, recorded electronically in the INSS. Cases were workers who received a compensation benefit classified as work-related and ICD-10 (C30–C96). Descriptive variables were sex, age, income, state, industry trades and year of the benefit
Results The number of registered benefits for cancer cases increased from 33 488 to 43 464; from these 724 (0.4%) work-related cancer cases were found. Most were <35 years of age and from the first income quartile. Cases were more likely to come from the construction industry, and leukaemia and other haematopoietic cancers predominated. The number of reported work-related cases declined from 100 in 2000 to 34 in 2006, when they started to increase reaching 266 in 2007.
Conclusions In Brazil, the number of reported cases of work-related cancers was small and decreasing during the last decade. After the implementation of a distinct work-relatedness protocol in 2007 it changed, increasing over 100%, suggesting large under reporting. Epidemiological estimates with these data are presently undergoing.
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