Some hazardous chemicals, called carcinogens, may cause cancer.
Carcinogens can be found in a variety of industries including manufacturing, construction, scientific research and healthcare.
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Prohibited carcinogens – mentioned in schedule 10, table 10.1 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 – are considered too potent in their carcinogenic potential to be used any longer in industry. Their use, handling and storage is only permitted for genuine research or analysis and this must be authorised.
Prohibited carcinogens are:
- 2-acetylaminofluorene [CAS number 53-96-3]
- 4-aminodiphenyl [CAS number 92-67-1]
- benzidine [CAS number 92-87-5] and its salts (including benzidine dihydrochloride [CAS number 531-85-1])
- bis(chloromethyl) ether [CAS number 542-88-1]
- chloromethyl methyl ether [CAS number 107-30-2] (technical grade which contains bis(chloromethyl) ether)
- 4-dimethylaminoazobenzene (dimethyl yellow) [CAS number 60-11-7]
- 2-naphthylamine [CAS number 91-59-8] and its salts
- 4-nitrodiphenyl [CAS number 92-93-3].
Restricted carcinogens remain in use in industry and other workplaces. You must be authorised to use, handle or store a restricted carcinogen mentioned in schedule 10, table 10.2, for the purpose shown in column 3 of table 10.2 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.
Restricted carcinogens are:
- acrylonitrile [CAS number 107-13-1]
- benzene [CAS number 71-43-2]
- cyclophosphamide [CAS number 50-18-0]
- 3,3'-dichlorobenzidine [CAS number 91-94-1] and its salts (including 3,3'-dichlorobenzidine dihydrochloride [CAS number 612-83-9])
- diethyl sulfate [CAS number 64-67-5]
- dimethyl sulfate [CAS number 77-78-1]
- ethylene dibromide [CAS number 106-93-4]
- 4,4'-methylene bis (2-chloroaniline) (MOCA) [ CAS number 101-14-4]
- 3-propiolactone (beta-propiolactone) [CAS number 57-57-8]
- o-toluidine [CAS number 95-53-4] and o-toluidine hydrochloride [CAS number 636-21-5]
- vinyl chloride monomer [CAS number 75-01-4].
Authorisation to use, store and handle
If your workplace uses, handles or stores prohibited or restricted carcinogenic hazardous chemicals, you may be required to be authorised for those purposes under chapter 7 of the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011.
How to apply
Make one application for each prohibited or restricted carcinogen used at the workplace. There is no fee associated with applications.
A site visit from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland may be conducted to confirm the details of an application.
Suppliers of prohibited and restricted carcinogens
The supplier of a prohibited or restricted carcinogen must have evidence that the client has the required authorisation to use, handle or store the substance prior to supply.
Suppliers must also keep a record of the name of the person supplied and the name and quantity of the substance supplied.
Statement of exposure
The use of some carcinogens requires health monitoring of workers to identify workers who have an increased risk of developing an occupational disease.
Where a worker uses, handles or stores a prohibited or restricted carcinogen, they must be given a written statement at the end of their employment about the carcinogen to which they may have been exposed.
The statement must include:
- the name of the carcinogen to which the worker may have been exposed
- the time the worker may have been exposed to the carcinogen for example the start and finish dates of their employment
- how and where the worker may obtain records of the possible exposure
- whether the worker should undertake regular health assessments and the details of the relevant tests which should be undertaken.
The Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 requires authorisation for use, handling and storage of cyclophosphamide when used in preparation for therapeutic use in hospitals and oncological treatment facilities, and in manufacturing operations or genuine research or analysis.
Authorisation relating to cyclophosphamide is only required by those involved in:
- primary manufacturing of the chemical
- pharmacy manufacturing of preparations of cyclophosphamide in a patient-ready form (e.g. preparing the drug from bulk form into oral doses or as syringe preparation)
- research and analysis in laboratory settings.
A person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) does not need to apply for authorisation if the facility stores or uses the chemical in a patient-ready form for the purpose of administration to patients. This is because the workplace or facility is not involved in the preparation of the chemical.
Suppliers of cyclophosphamide
Suppliers of cyclophosphamide must ensure that end-users (e.g. customers) of cyclophosphamide have the required authorisation in the following situations:
- where the chemical is to be passed on to customers who will use it in manufacturing processes
- where the chemical will be used in genuine research or analysis programs.
If evidence of authorisation is not provided by the end-user in the circumstances above, suppliers must not supply the chemical.
Customers which are not involved in manufacturing or research processes can be supplied the chemical without demonstrating authorisation.