Studies of pilots have generally shown higher rates of skin and prostate cancers, she noted, adding that pilots also have been found to have circadian rhythm disruption, but these workers have somewhat more built-in protections around their scheduling and rest times than flight attendants do.
The authors used self-reported data from 5,366 U.S. flight attendants and compared it with data from a matching group of 2,729 men and women with similar economic status.
If you've even sat in the wrong spot, you're more likely to get sick.
And it was only associated with higher risk of breast cancer in women who either had never had children - nulliparity - or had three or more.
The authors used data from a survey conducted from 2013 to 2014 as part of the Flight Attendant Health Study, an ongoing study of flight crew health which they established in 2007.
Flight attendants had higher rates of all cancers investigated.
Female flight staff had an average of 51% more likely to develop breast cancer.
"This may be due to combined sources of circadian rhythm disruption - sleep deprivation and irregular schedules - both at home and at work". The study does not explain why flight attendants have higher cancer rates.
The authors recommend that further efforts be made in the USA to limit cancer risk among this work population such as radiation dose monitoring and the implementation of schedules that will lower exposure to radiation and prevent the disruption of circadian rhythms.
Mordukhovich said she and her colleagues were motivated to study flight attendants because there are gaps in the research on them, and that could mean gaps in the policies meant to protect them on the job, at least in the United States. Now, researchers of a study published in the journal Environmental Health showed that flight attendance also has a high prevalence of a number of other cancers, which include gastrointestinal, non-melanoma skin cancer, uterine, cervical and thyroid cancers.
Other potential risk factors include sleep-cycle disruption brought on by overnight flights and crossing time-zones, past exposure to secondhand smoke in the cabin and ongoing exposures to chemicals such as pesticides, which are used to sterilize cabins on some worldwide flights.
At high altitudes, where the air is thinner and provides less of a shield, passengers and crew can be exposed to between 100 and 300 times the cosmic radiation dose they receive at sea level.
This is because they fly more northerly routes where exposure to cosmic radiation is highest.
Male caregivers also have a 50% greater risk of skin melanoma (1.2% vs. 0.69% in the general male population) and about 10% increased risk for skin cancer other than melanoma (3.2% versus 2.9%). The authors compared the self-reported cancer diagnoses of flight crew with data on a matching cohort of 2,729 men and women with similar economic status collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination survey during the same years.
PPG Aerospace recently unveiled a new transparency film that can be applied to cockpit and cabin windows to prevent harmful UVA, UVB, and HEVBLUE rays from entering the aircraft.