People may think that a flight attendant’s life is all glamorous and only based on travelling around the world. In fact, people should know that there are a lot of health dangers that go hand in hand with being a flight attendant, and we are not talking about disrespectful passengers. According to a new study, which the journal Environmental Health recently published, flight attendants are at a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer in comparison with the general population.
In fact, experts have long thought that they get more melanoma and breast cancer than the other people. This new study, while agreeing with this idea, also found a higher prevalence of other types of cancer: gastrointestinal, thyroid, cervical, non-melanoma skin cancer, and uterine cancer. According to study co-author Irina Mordukhovich, what also surprised them was a higher risk of breast cancer in female flight attendants who already had two or three children. This is shocking because usually, the more children a woman has, the lesser the risk of breast cancer is. A cause may be the disruption of their circadian rhythm, especially when flying internationally.
Flight attendants have a higher risk of certain types of cancer
It’s worth noting that 80% of the flight attendants that took part in the study were women, which is normal. This is a highly feminized occupation. However, the study does not say why exactly flight attendants tend to develop certain types of cancer more than other people. But the team of researchers have some ideas.
Flight attendants are often more exposed to pesticides, jet fuel, fire retardants, and other chemicals which may contribute to this risk. Cosmic ionizing radiation and prolonged exposure to it is also a cancer cause which the World Health Organization has recognized. However, more research is surely needed to establish clearly that this is indeed the case.
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