Some jobs are just obviously dangerous. If you spend your days climbing into burning buildings, chasing bad guys, or driving in traffic, your health risk while on the clock goes up significantly compared to the average worker. However, other jobs have more hidden but equally sinister side effects. For most employees, there’s only a slim chance of having a gun pointed in your direction at work. But your job’s cancer risk could be equally as threatening.
With the increase of safety regulations at state and federal levels over the past few decades, the rate of workplace-related cancers has gone down significantly, the American Cancer Society reports. Only about 4% of cancer patients in the United States can trace the origin of the disease to occupational exposure to cancer-causing substances, or carcinogens. However, those carcinogens can sometimes take decades to surface, meaning people who worked in various industries 40 years ago might just now be reaping the consequences of being exposed to certain toxins.
Even though organizations, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, now regulate exposure to toxins more carefully, accidents on the job or lax adherence to the rules can still put workers at risk for certain cancers. Pretty much every job comes with its own unique set of health risks, but these particular occupations could lead to certain cancers, such as lymphoma, leukemia, and other types.
Let’s take a look at the 15 jobs that put you at a higher risk of cancer.
1. Rubber manufacturing
Rubber manufacturing might be a holdout from the industrial days of old, but we still need people working in factories to create automobile tires, rubber gloves, rubber bands, and other products. Rubber is made with myriad chemicals, and the process exposes workers to vapors, dusts, and chemical byproducts that evidently pose serious health risks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several studies have shown “excess deaths” from health issues, such as bladder cancer, stomach cancer, and lung cancer. The American Cancer Society adds leukemia and lymphoma to that list, making jobs in the rubber industry some of the most exposed to carcinogens. Part of the issue, the CDC reports, is these toxins can be absorbed through the skin, not just through inhalation.
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