The Comprehensive Health Risk Study (CHRS) was launched by CEMBUREAU, in 2005. The study is composed of several elements including an updated survey of the literature on the question, a measurement study on workers’ exposure to dust in the construction and construction industry, a toxicological study carried out in two phases, one involving in-vitro tests, the other ex-vivo tests, a European prospective lung function monitoring study and a French mortality study. All studies were performed by a number of independent institutes of a broad range of nationalities. The institutes/experts were chosen according to their expertise in the different areas. The majority of the results of these studies have by now been published by the institutions themselves in independent scientific journals.
The Comprehensive Health Risk Study is now finalized and the following general conclusions were drawn by Greenfacts:
- People are exposed to cement either by coming in contact with wet cement or by breathing in cement dust.
- Skin contact can lead to an inflammation of the skin and to an allergic reaction. Inhaling cement dust can cause breathing problems, depending on the type of dust, the level and the length of exposure.
- The use of appropriate protective equipment largely contributes to protecting workers in the cement production and construction industries in Europe from developing any of these potential health problems.
- There is no convincing evidence of an increased risk of developing any form of cancer in relation to Portland cement exposure consistent over a variety of geographic and demographic conditions.