Graveyard shift work linked to cancer

  1. Graveyard shift work linked to cancer

    LONDON - Like UV rays and diesel exhaust fumes, working the graveyard shift will soon be listed as a "probable" cause of cancer.

    It is a surprising step validating a concept once considered wacky. And it is based on research that finds higher rates of breast and prostate cancer among women and men whose work day starts after dark.


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    American Cancer Society's list of known and probable carcinogens from IARC and National Toxicology Program: http://tinyurl.com/2kl5ab
    International Agency for Research on Cancer: http://www.iarc.fr/




    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071129/...khfCcOxcBa24cA
    Last edit by sirI on Nov 29, '07 : Reason: edited for copyright purposes
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Djuna
    This may have follow on effects for nurses working the night shift or switching between day and night shift. It might have to be seen as a real health risk and attract some compensation.

    Last edit by Djuna on Nov 29, '07
  4. by   oramar
    It maybe something as simple as reduced exposure to sunlight resulting in Vitamin D defiencies.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    Darn! I was seriously pondering a switch to night shift, so as to avoid the abusive family members who visit during the daytime hours.
  6. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Commuter-


    There's probably a link between high stress levels and another type of cancer. Pick your poison, I guess.
  7. by   NurseCherlove
    Yeah, my problem is that I wil finally for the first time ever be trying night shift starting mid December.

    I had kinda blown off the suggestions about "blackening" my room for sleep since I have never had any problem whatsoever sleeping, anywhere, or anytime; however, this makes me think twice about that. Need that melatonin!
  8. by   NJNursing
    You can always buy melatonin supplements. As long as you're well rested, it's fine.

    Next thing you know it, we'll get cancer from breathing.
  9. by   Noryn
    Quote from NJNursing
    You can always buy melatonin supplements. As long as you're well rested, it's fine.

    Next thing you know it, we'll get cancer from breathing.
    They say you should not take melatonin supplements long term because your body will decrease its production.

    This is really interesting. Employers are required to provide a safe work environment (to an extent) or at least put in proper safeguards. I wonder how many lawsuits this is going to cause? What makes it even more complicated is that the exact cause is still unknown. So how are employers going to protect their workers? You wouldnt expose your workers to diesel fuel fumes so what makes this different?
  10. by   agent66
    I have worked straight nights for almost twenty years, guess I am in trouble eh??
  11. by   CSHRN
    I knew breathing diesel exhaust was the same as my job!
  12. by   Brian
    Like UV rays and diesel exhaust fumes, working the graveyard shift will soon be listed as a ''probable'' cause of cancer. It is a surprising step validating a concept once considered wacky. And it is based on research that finds higher rates of breast and prostate cancer among women and men whose work day starts after dark.

    Next month, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, will add overnight shift work as a probable carcinogen. The American Cancer Society says it will likely follow. Up to now, the U.S. organization has considered the work-cancer link to be ''uncertain, controversial or unproven.''

    The higher cancer rates don't prove working overnight can cause cancer. There may be other factors common among graveyard shift workers that raise their risk for cancer.

    ...

    Some research also suggests that men working at night may have a higher rate of prostate cancer.

    Because these studies mostly focused on nurses and airline crews, bigger studies in different populations are needed to confirm or disprove the findings.

    There are still plenty of skeptics. And to put the risk in perspective, the ''probable carcinogen'' tag means that the link between overnight work and cancer is merely plausible.

    Full Story:

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/heal...=1&oref=slogin
  13. by   txspadequeenRN
    i heard about this ,but did not read the article...one question, do you think we can get hazard pay out of this if we work night shift....
    Last edit by txspadequeenRN on Nov 30, '07
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    I read this article this morning. Remember, I'm in the middle of a statistics class and I am a major skeptic now.

    steph

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