The rate of workplace-related cancers has declined in recent years due to an increase in safety regulations, with about 4 percent of cancers in the United States attributed to occupational exposure to carcinogens in the workplace, according to the American Cancer Society. Certain occupations, such as manufacturing, have been associated with a greater risk for cancer than others. Here is a look at some of the jobs that put workers at an increased risk for cancer.
Construction – Construction workers are more likely than those in other professions to be exposed to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in building materials such as insulation. The use of asbestos has decreased since the 1980s, after asbestos exposure was linked to serious health problems including the incurable lung disease asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs. The American Lung Association estimates 1.3 million construction workers are currently exposed to asbestos on the job.
Manufacturing and mining – Factory workers and miners are exposed to numerous toxic chemicals including fossil fuels, coal products, benzene, diesel engine exhaust, and mineral oils. Benzene is one of the most widely used chemicals in the U.S., used mainly in the manufacturing of products such as plastics, lubricants, rubbers, dyes, and solvents. Benzene exposure puts workers at increased risk of developing certain cancers, especially those that affect the blood cells such as leukemia. Factory workers and miners are also at risk for asbestos exposure.
Farming – Farmers spend most of their time working outdoors and are exposed to excessive amounts of ultraviolet or UV radiation from the sun. This is the main cause for melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. Melanoma is the most common skin cancer in the United States.
Source: Tech Times