IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Occupational exposure to chemical and physical contaminants: gender-differentiated analysis


Are there gender-based differences in occupational exposure to chemical and physical agents? Can such differences be found within the same job classification? If this is the case, can these differences be linked to the way men and women are selected for different kinds of jobs, or to the carrying out of different tasks within the same job classification? Few studies have addressed these issues.

Researchers used exposure data generated in two epidemiological studies in the Montreal area in the late 1990s. The data covered nearly 300 substances or exposure situations found in the occupational histories of about 1,600 men and nearly 2,300 women. Researchers compared the prevalence of exposure - and, where possible, the levels of exposure - of jobs held by men and those held by women, for the same occupational classification or economic activity.

This study on sex and gender differences, which draws on a large number of jobs, is one of the first of its kind in Canada -- or anywhere else, for that matter. It attempts to answer a question at the heart of a growing debate, and the information it provides will prove useful useful to OHS researchers and practitioners.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 2011-0025
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2014