Occupational cancer in Israel: an overview.

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Occupational cancer is a result of exposure to carcinogens in the workplace. The critical interaction during the initiation stage of the carcinogenesis process occurs between the ultimate form of a carcinogen and the DNA, resulting in the formation of a DNA adduct or several types of gross structural alterations. Several methods have been developed by which carcinogens can be detected. These methods can be utilized for ambient monitoring of exposure and health surveillance. "Molecular epidemiology" is the combination of epidemiologic and laboratory studies, i.e., monitoring exposure by measuring the DNA adduct. Early detection of occupational cancer is difficult, due largely to the latent period which can be up to 20 years or more. For this reason it is important to develop and improve techniques for early detection of premalignant changes. Israel has numerous workers who are exposed to carcinogens, but has no special legislation concerning the use of carcinogenic substances in the workplace. However, an interministerial committee has published, and is continuing to work on, exposure and safety regulations. Medical surveillance and prevention as well as legislation are necessary to reduce morbidity and mortality from occupational cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-525
Number of pages6
JournalIsrael Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number8-9
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


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