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Does your job increase your risk of cancer?

Nowadays, virtually every job in America poses at least some degree of risk, but the precise risks and dangers you face at work will vary considerably based on your industry, role and so on. While you may not work in a field that places you at considerable risk for, say, a car accident or a ladder fall, a job that exposes you to certain cancer-causing substances or behaviors can be just as deadly.

Just what types of jobs enhance your risk of developing workplace cancer?

Professions with significant cancer risks

It can prove difficult to determine exact numbers when it comes to cancer cases caused by work environments due in part because many cases do not develop until years or even decades after people leave their jobs. However, there are some professions that have considerably higher cancer risk factors than others.

For example, your risk of developing work-related cancer is higher than that of the average American employee if you work in rubber or tire manufacturing or if you work in agriculture. If you are female and also hold an agricultural job, your risk of developing breast cancer rises by 35 percent. If you work in a hair salon, this, too, enhances your risk of developing cancer due in large part to continued exposure to hair dyes, which can contain cancer-causing substances.

If you work as a mechanic or in an automotive setting, know that exposure to asbestos fibers, which sometimes appear in brake linings and other auto parts, can elevate your cancer risk considerably. Construction workers, too, face asbestos concerns, particularly when working in older homes built before knowledge of asbestos dangers became widespread.

These are just some of the jobs Americans hold that place them at a higher risk of developing cancer. If you have concerns about your own work environment, your employer may be able to recommend steps you can take to reduce the risk.


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