Occupational lung cancer surveillance in South Korea, 2006-2009

Jong Han Leem, Hwan Cheol Kim, Jeong Seon Ryu, Jong Uk Won, Jai Dong Moon, Young Chul Kim, Sang Baek Koh, Suk Joong Yong, Soo Geun Kim, Jae Yong Park, Inah Kim, Jung Il Kim, Jung Won Kim, Eui Cheol Lee, Hyoung Ryoul Kim, Dae Hwan Kim, Dong Mug Kang, Yun Chul Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The lung cancer mortality in Korea has increased remarkably during the last 20 years, and has been the first leading cause of cancer-related deaths since 2000. The aim of the current study was to examine the time trends of occupational lung cancer and carcinogens exposure during the period 2006-2009 in South Korea, by assessing the proportion of occupational burden. Methods: We defined occupational lung cancer for surveillance, and developed a reporting protocol and reporting website for the surveillance of occupational lung cancer. The study patients were chosen from 9 participating university hospitals in the following 7 areas: Seoul, Incheon, Wonju, Daejeon, Daegu, Busan, and Gwangju. Results: The combined proportion of definite and probable occupational lung cancer among all lung cancers investigated in this study was 10.0%, 8.6%, 10.7%, and 15.8% in the years 2006 to 2009, respectively, with an average of 11.7% over the four-year study period. The main carcinogens were asbestos, crystalline silica, radon, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), diesel exhaust particles, chromium, and nickel. Conclusion: We estimated that about 11.7% of the incident lung cancer was preventable. This reveals the potential to considerably reduce lung cancer by intervention in occupational fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-139
Number of pages6
JournalSafety and Health at Work
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Korean Occupational Safety and health Agency (KOSHA). The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from KOSHA.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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