Landmark paper sets a seriously flawed occupational cancer benchmark

The 1981 Doll/Peto paper remained the UK Health and Safety Executive’s preferred source for estimates of occupational cancer causes and incidence until 2008, long after the findings has been disputed and described as “discredited”.  Errors in methodology led to a substantial under-estimate of the true incidence. The pro-industry leanings of the lead author was also criticised. Hazards magazine noted in 2007 that basing official policies on Doll/Peto estimates has resulted in a chronic failure to secure either the resources or the priority required for meaningful preventive action.

Doll R and Peto R. The causes of cancer: Quantitative estimates of avoidable risks of cancer in the United States today, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, volume 66, number 6, pages 1191-1308, 1981.

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