APH 2004, 62, 15-22:

Acceptability of genetic susceptibility testing in occupational health - a position paper.

L. Casteleyn, K. Van Damme

Keywords: Occupational health, genetic susceptibility, ethics, informed consent, chronic beryllium disease

Assessing the acceptability of genetic testing practices in occupa­tional health can only be done in relation to particular goals of an occu­pational health policy. If protecting both health and employment of every job candidate and employee is the aim, the assessment of the relevance, the accuracy, the need for, and the consequences of these practices reveals that according to the current state of knowledge, there is no rea­son to believe that pro-employment selection practices based on genetic screening test results could be part of a rational policy, aiming at protecting workers health. The main reasons are the lack of predictive value at the individual level and the possibly paradoxical effects for health protection, both at the individual level of the candidate who will be refused a job and at the level of the employees who might wrongly be considered as risk-resistant. The decision making process requires societal involvement.