Brain Cancer Higher in Some Occupations


A Yale study finds that brain cancer is found higher in some occupations than others. "Brain cancer incidence and mortality have been increasing in many industrialized countries, particularly among elderly people," says Tongzhang Zheng, of Yale School of Medicine, in the journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

"Improved diagnosis and access to medical care, genetic predisposition, and lifestyle factors, such as smoking, drinking alcohol and diet, are not enough to explain the increase."

Men employed as roofers or sheet metal workers, who work with rubber and plastic products, or are employed in cleaning businesses, among other occupations, are at higher risk of developing brain cancer, Zheng says.

Women are at higher risk of developing brain cancer if they are employed in agricultural services and farm occupations, work with apparel and textile products, in electric and electronic equipment manufacturing, and as waitresses.

An increased risk of brain cancer for workers in these industries could be due to their exposures to pesticides, solvents, dyes and formaldehyde, metal fumes, and other chemical or physical carcinogens," Zheng says. "However, more studies are needed because it could also be due to chance."

-- Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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