Campaign ‘zero cancer in the workplace’ and petition ‘Stop Glyphosate’
The trade union confederation of worker commissions in Spain (CCOO) has launched the campaign ‘zero cancer in the workplace’. They also initiated a petition to ban glyphosate-based herbicides from the European Union.
Setting and problem
In 2008 200.000 people in Spain were diagnosed with cancer. 100.000 of them eventually died because of cancer. Part of these cancer cases are work-related, because people have been exposed to carcinogens. The most recent estimates show that one in ten of the cancer cases in Spain are related to exposure in the workplace to carcinogens. This makes the estimated amount of annual deaths in Spain because of work-related cancer 10.000.
Until this time the focus of preventive campaigns has mostly been on individual risks like smoking and the use of alcohol, work and environmental related cancers have come second. Of the 375 carcinogens recognized by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 173 are work related, among which are asbestos and respirable crystalline silica. The campaign focuses on the prevention of work related cancer by eliminating of decrease the use of carcinogenic substances in the production process. An example of an action taken is the stop glyphosate petition, a petition to ban glyphosate-based herbicides. The exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides has been linked to cancer in humans. With the petition the CCOO wants to force a total ban on glyphosate in the European Union.
There are no measurable result of the campaign and the petition yet. Attention for this subject and the ban of carcinogenic substances will on the long term lead to a decrease in the number of cancer victims. The fact that already 1323431 people have signed the ‘stop glyphosate’ petition, shows that people are aware of the risks carcinogenic substances hold.
18 of the 28 EU countries have voted in favor of the use of glyphosate. This means that the European license for the use of glyphosate is renewed for the coming 5 years.