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Cancer On The Job: How Does Your Position Rate?

AdobeStock_240036120.jpegSome workers report for duty aware of the risk to their personal safety. Oil rigs present the possibility of an explosion, for example, and falls are common to construction sites.

However, despite the health and safety regulations employers put in place to protect employees, countless factors may create danger. In fact, some jobs with the highest cancer rates might be surprising.

Workplaces with recognized cancer risks

Basking in the sun for hours on end, while earning a paycheck, is a dream for many swimmers. Yet, lifeguards - especially those who go without sunscreen - often suffer from skin cancer. UV radiation is also a concern for pilots, whose exposure comes through their time in the flight deck.

Who else is at risk - and why?

  • Farmers. Pesticides and insecticides applied to crops may be to blame for a prostate cancer rate 20% more likely among agricultural workers than Americans in other positions. Meanwhile, glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup, remains under fire for its alleged carcinogenic, or cancer-causing, properties.
  • Nail technicians. Beauty may be only skin deep, but the chemicals used in nail salons are endless. Without proper ventilation or personal protection, nail polish remover, fine particles of glue used to apply artificial nails and disinfecting agents regularly make their way into employees' systems.
  • Firefighters. Naturally, there is danger associated with walking into a burning building. What many people remain unaware of is the poisonous compounds in smoke. At the same time, the foam often used to quench flames contains harmful contaminants.

Perhaps more shocking is the hazard associated with inactivity, such as desk workers experience Monday through Friday. Sitting for hours on end may not directly relate to cancer, though it can have an adverse effect on well-being.

Lifestyle choices could aid in prevention

Consuming a healthy diet and getting regular exercise are recommended for cancer prevention. Additionally, early detection through regular medical exams can increase treatment effectiveness.

However, depending on the situation associated with illness, holding an employer accountable may also be a vital part of recovery.

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