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Risks of Working the Rubber Industry

Read about the risks of cancer in the rubber industry
Risks of Cancer in the UK Rubber Industry
Risks of Cancer in the UK Rubber Industry

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Risks of Cancer in the Rubber Industry


Mercury Legal offer free, specialist advice on occupational cancer claims and have extensive experience in helping victims and their families claim compensation against UK rubber manufacturers. If you or a loved one have developed an occupational cancer from working in the rubber industry, then call 0800 122 3130 for free advice on your right to compensation.

The UK’s rubber industry employs thousands of people but sadly there are certain risks posed to workers in this area, particularly with regards to certain cancers. Workers are exposed to harmful chemicals routinely used in the rubber making process and as such it is important to be aware of the risks present in these areas and how they can be minimised.

Historically, the rubber industry has been linked with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Up until 1949, a chemical called Nonox S was used in rubber compounding and this contained a contaminant called antioxidant beta-naphthylamine, found to cause bladder cancer. The chemical was withdrawn from use and the number of cases of bladder cancer dropped significantly after this time, however there are now concerns that a chemical called MbOCA (2,2′-Dicholoro-4,4′-methylene dianiline), used in the manufacture of moulded polyurethane as a curing agent, can cause bladder cancer too.

It is thought that the chemical presents a risk if:

  • Inhaled,
  • Ingested with food and drink or
  • Absorbed through the skin.

Lung and stomach cancers are also a concern, with further studies conducted after the withdrawal of Nonox S finding that workers in the rubber industry were at an increased risk of developing the diseases due to the fumes and dust created in the working environment.

In any industry, employers have a duty to protect their employees from harm when in the workplace. Currently, there are strict regulations in place to control exposure levels to rubber process dust and rubber fume and employers must abide by these rules. They state that the air within working environments for rubber industries must be monitored regularly and levels of dust and fumes be kept as low as reasonably possible, and that regulations surrounding the cleanliness and ventilation of workspaces are met. Employees should also be provided with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including breathing apparatus and protective gloves.

If you or your loved one believes that you have developed cancer as a result of your working environment, you might be entitled to make a claim for compensation. To discuss your individual case, please call 0800 122 3130 or contact us online here.

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Claiming For Industrial Disease 


Industrial disease claim

There are many different types of industrial diseases you can develop after being exposed to hazardous substances or dangerous conditions at work. To find out more view our media center.