Flight attendants more prone to cancer, says Harvard study
Washington : Flight attendants, also known as cabin crew, are at a greater risk of getting cancer than rest of the people, said a study.
According to a Harvard study, cancer rate among the US airline-cabin crews was found greater in comparison to other population of the country. Rates among flight attendants were especially high for breast, uterine, cervical, gastrointestinal, and thyroid cancer.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Health, also noted that there could be multiple reasons behind this.
The observations were made by the researchers after examining data from more than 5,300 US-based flight attendants who filled out an online survey between December 2014 and June 2015 as part of the larger “Harvard Flight Attendant Health Study.” Those data were then compared to surveys filled out by 2,700 other Americans with similar levels of education and income, but working in other sectors.
In women, the rate of breast cancer was 50% higher than compared to the rest of the population. Melanoma rates were just over 200% higher and non-melanoma skin cancer rates were about 300% higher. Male flight attendants, meanwhile, were about 50% more likely to suffer from melanoma and 10% more likely to have non-melanoma skin cancer.
Probable reasons behind health disaster:
1: A very limited study has been conducted on the health issues faced by Flight attendants who get exposed more to ultra-violet cosmic radiation than the average person. This could be a reason behind more skin related diseases.
2: Jet lags create fluctuation in immune system that can probably increase tumor growth.
US Flight attendants over
Already the US flight attendants union released a statement on the study, saying it will “use the results to encourage airlines, airline manufacturers, and regulators to prevent exposures and change working conditions to reduce risk.” The association also noted that the US federal government currently does not require airlines to educate cabin crews about onboard radiation exposure, or to offer additional protections from radiation—including for pregnant flight attendants.
“That is unacceptable and we won’t stop working to fix it,” the group vowed.