Can Your Job Cause Breast Cancer?
New research has suggested numerous occupations may put women at risk for developing breast cancer. The data published in the report, carried out by the Breast Cancer Fund, took more than two years to compile.
Exposure to toxic substances such as benzene and solvents can heighten the risk of developing breast cancer. The report lists dozens of other toxic substances suspected of heightening the risk of breast cancer. Occupations such as emergency response, hairdressing, manufacturing and others carry a high risk of exposure to the toxic substances.
According to the researchers, poor protection policies from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are partially to blame for exposure to toxic substances.
Can New Regulations Decrease The Risk Of Breast Cancer?
OSHA regulations on carcinogens are decades old and in need of revisions. Many toxic chemicals and substances remain unregulated.
As an organization with limited resources, OSHA claimed it did not have the means to track all potential carcinogens in the workplace. Thousands of chemicals are used in various occupations, making a chemical-by-chemical assessment highly difficult.
The Breast Cancer Fund report calls on OSHA to strengthen exposure limits for toxic chemicals. Currently, OSHA enforces exposure limits when chemicals cause an additional case of cancer for every 1 in 1,000 workers. Other organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency enforce exposure limits of 1 in 100,000 cases of cancer.
The report also suggests women should be included in more occupational studies. Women’s health issues are mostly ignored in studies on occupational illnesses and injuries.
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