Carcinogenic or mutagenic chemical substances and technological processes in the workplace in Poland in 2013–2017
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Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera / Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Zakład Bezpieczeństwa Chemicznego / Department of Chemical Safety)
Online publication date: 2020-03-26
Corresponding author
Agnieszka Niepsuj   

Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera, Zakład Bezpieczeństwa Chemicznego, ul. św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź
Med Pr 2020;71(2):187–203
Background: The aim of this paper was to present data on occupational exposure to carcinogens and mutagens in Poland in 2013–2017, based on information sent to the “Central Register of Data on Exposure to Carcinogenic or Mutagenic Chemical Substances, Mixtures, Agents or Technological Processes,” kept by the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland. The legal bases, purpose and scope of data collection were also discussed. Material and Methods: Data on occupational exposure to carcinogenic and mutagenic substances, mixtures and technological processes, submitted to the Central Register by Polish employers in 2013– 2017, were analyzed. The data were shown in various configurations and presented in the form of spatial distribution of the exposure to and occurrence of selected occupational carcinogens and mutagens. Results: The number of chemical substances reported to the Central Register in the reference period had increased gradually since 2013. In 2017, 368 substances were reported, i.e., an increase of 21.1% compared to 2013. Also, the number of reporting enterprises increased (to over 4000 enterprises in 2017). The most common chemical agents in the reference years were formaldehyde, particular polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), benzene and chromium( VI) compounds. Among the technological processes, most of the plants reported works in exposure to hardwood dust (about 800 plants and over 10 000 to almost 15 000 exposed workers). Conclusions: It is necessary to legally define the term “exposure” and its quantification so that there would be no doubts for employers and supervision services about the number of people exposed in the workplace. Exposure spatial distribution maps are a transparent and easy-to-understand way of presenting data on exposure to occupational carcinogens and mutagens. Med Pr. 2020;71(2):187–203