Flight Attendants at Risk for Certain Types of CancerNovember 2, 2018
There are quite a few perks to being a flight attendant, including receiving free or discounted plane tickets, traveling to new and exciting destinations, and the opportunity to meet and interact with new people every day.
However, in addition to having to calm the occasional grumpy passenger, flight attendants may also be at risk for certain health hazards. A new study conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that flight attendants have an increased risk of certain types of cancer.
Cancer Diagnoses in Flight Attendants
For years, scientists have seen a growing number of flight attendants who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and melanoma. While this new study also found this to be true, they also discovered that flight attendants had a higher prevalence of other types of cancers, including non-melanoma skin cancer, uterine, gastrointestinal, cervical, and thyroid cancers.
According to a research associate involved in the study, they were surprised to find that there was also an increased incidence of breast cancer in women who had three or more children.
The researchers compared data from the Harvard Flight Attendant Health Study, which aims to help people get an understanding of how their job can impact their health; and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which annually tracks the health and nutrition of the five-thousand members of the general population.
Job Factors That Increase Cancer Risks in Flight Attendants
Studies show that when a person’s sleep cycle – or circadian rhythm – is disrupted, it can increase the risk for cancer. Flight attendants who have multiple children are likely not getting the optimal amount of sleep on a regular basis. This is particularly true for female flight attendants, who often fly internationally and must adjust to different time zones.
Another factor that could contribute to the higher cancer rates include the fact that flight attendants are exposed to certain carcinogens like pesticides, fire retardants, and jet fuel, as well as increased levels of cosmic ionizing radiation.
The researchers were interested in conducting a study that focused on flight attendants because there was limited research available about this population.
This would also suggest that there are no protective policies in place for flight attendants who do develop work-related illnesses. There are currently no official dose limits when it comes to cosmic ionizing radiation exposure, and the protections that do exist are limited.
The European Union has already taken steps to address this issue among this population of workers. Ultimately, the researchers of this study hope to provide policy-makers in the United States with concrete evidence about the health risks associated with the employment of flight attendants.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Employees with Work-Related Illnesses
If you work as a flight attendant, and you have been diagnosed with an illness that you believe is work-related, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. A cancer diagnosis is a devastating blow, but we are on your side and will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial benefits that you deserve so that you can focus on your health. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.