Najdi Adil*, Obtel Majdouline, El Rhazi Karima, Atassi Meryem, Tachfouti Nabil and Nejjari Chakib


Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in Morocco. Data on occupational exposure related to cancer are still lacking. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency and the significance of the exposure to the occupational risk factors related to cancer in the population of artisans living in the city of Fez in Morocco. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on a representative sample of artisans from four sectors: wood, leather, copper and pottery in the city of Fez during March and April 2008. A questionnaire was administered to each of the artisans to collect sociodemographic data, the job description, working conditions and all the current chemical exposures in the workplace as well as the protective measures used. Exposures were then listed and classified according to the IARC Monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Results: A total of 400 artisans were interviewed. The average mean age was 33.24 ± 13.2 years and 94.3% were male. Among the study subjects, 95.9% lived in urban areas, 20.1% in precarious housing, 35.1% of them were illiterate and 45.1% had completed primary study. The monthly household income was less than the minimum wage for 60.8% of the artisans. Exposure to wood dust classified as ―1‖ was observed in 100% of wood artisans, 21% of copper craftsmen and 45% of potters. Exposure to certain paintings classified as "1" was found in 55% of copper craftsmen, in 45% of potters and in 37% of wood artisans. In addition, 21% of potters were exposed to lead classified as "Group 1", 62% of woodworkers were exposed to essences of painting classified as ―Group 2A‖ or ―Group 2B‖, 8% of the artisans in the leather sector are exposed to Chrome classified as ―Group 1‖ by WHO. Finally, 65% of the artisans used no protection, this proportion ranged from 75% among woodworkers up to 96% in potters. Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of the occupational carcinogen exposure among craftsmen and consequently suggests more toxicological and epidemiological explorations in order to sensitize and guide health policy makers in Morocco.

Keywords: occupational exposure, Cancer, Craft, Morocco.

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