Over 1.5 million employees in Australia might be exposed to potentially cancer-causing products on the job without even knowing it, according to Australian Council of Trade Union (ACTU) figures.
The alarming statistics have prompted ACTU president Sharan Burrow to call for a government-led national inquiry and additional research into cancer-causing substances in the workplace.
"That isn't related to any one occupation. There are some occupations clearly that are more likely to come in contact with products that can create cancer, but right across the board ... wherever people are liable to be working with products that we don't know enough about," News.com.au quoted Burrow, as saying.
Burrow made the comments on International Workers Memorial Day, a time when unions remember workers who have lost their lives at work, while launching a three-year campaign to eliminate cancer-causing substances from the workplace.
She said that Australia had the highest number of mesothelioma cases, cancer caused by asbestos, in the world.