The jobs with the greatest cancer risks
Is your job making you sick? If it’s listed here, the answer might be yes. Here’s what you need to know – and how to protect yourself.
It turns out that the skies aren’t all that friendly to flight attendants. One main reason, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Health, is that cabin crews are exposed to more ionising radiation at high altitudes, increasing the likelihood that they may develop a number of cancers, including those that affect the breast, cervix, uterus, thyroid, oesophagus, colon, stomach, liver and pancreas. Some additionally scary stats: The breast-cancer rate in female flight attendants is 50 percent higher than in women not in that field, while the non-melanoma skin cancer rate is four times higher.
Here’s a sentence you probably never thought you’d read: Cockpits are as dangerous for your skin as tanning beds. JAMA Dermatology reports that pilots and other crew members have double the rates of melanoma as ordinary people and that spending an hour in the cockpit exposes pilots to as much UVA radiation as spending 20 minutes in a tanning bed. UV radiation dangers can increase when flying over dense clouds or snow. While researchers have recommended that windshields with better UV protection be installed, pilots should also be vigilant about sunscreen application and skin-cancer checks.