Lists of occupations and industries associated with lung cancer are a useful tool to estimate attributable risks for occupational exposures. They were first published in 1982, based on IARC Monographs. List A included industries, processes and occupations definitely entailing carcinogenic risk, list B those probably/possibly carcinogenic. In 1995 the lists had been updated. We carried out a further update, reviewing IARC Monographs Volumes 62-75, focusing on Group 1, 2 A, and 2 B agents, and coded the lists according to widely used classifications: ISIC Rev. 2, ISIC Rev. 3, NACE Rev. 1, and ISTAT ATECO 1991 (for economic activities); ILO-ISCO 1968 and ISTAT-Classificazione delle professioni 1991 (for occupations). In order to evaluate temporal and geographical variations in attributable risk, exposure assessment must be performed consistently across different studies and standard tools to identify exposures, such as the one we propose here, are needed. The lists can also help to develop maps of industrial activities entailing carcinogenic risk at local, regional, and national level, and to identify economic activities that deserve priority action to control occupational exposures to carcinogens. The classifications were originally developed for economic and demographic purposes, and some exposure circumstances cannot be coded with sufficient specificity. This applies to productions or processes (i.e.: PVC production) that could be classified only by codes corresponding to wide groups of economic activities and/or occupations: in these instances we associated no code, so as not to inflate the estimates of exposed workers. As a consequence, however, certain exposures are not represented in the coded version of the lists. Even keeping in mind such limitations, coding makes the lists easier to apply, and increases the comparability of studies on lung cancer and occupation, as well as of surveys on exposure prevalence.
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