Health-Points: Friday 4.3.09

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Certain Jobs May Boost Lymphoma Risk

Taking a job as a roofer, printer, farmer and even a medical professional or any other job with exposure to certain chemical and biologic agents may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), claims a new study in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Researchers compared jobs between 1189 men and women with NHL and 982 men and women of similar age who did not, spanning 86 occupations in 97 industries, determining jobs such as launders, hand-packagers and leather workers, come with a higher risk of NHL than work as a teacher, editor, reporter and other jobs; Reuters reports.

Even working at a popcorn factory is risky! Exposure to diacetyl, a chemical used in artificial butter flavoring, can cause irreversible bronchiolitis obliterans in the lungs, nicknamed “Popcorn Lung.” It cannot be cured. The only long term treatment is a lung transplant.

And previously, weed-killers have been linked to brain cancer in farm workers. The moral of the story, don't work! Join the circus.

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Cell Phones Don't Cause Eye Cancer, But...

Ever since the days of those prehistoric 1980s cell phones everyone wonders if mobile phones are cooking our heads with cancer. The research is conflicted. Some studies say they boost cancer risk, like brain cancer, but now, new research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute claims regular cell phone usage does not increase a person’s risk of getting eye cancer. After studying 1,600 people for about a decade, scientists detected no link between cell phones and cancer; Reuters reports.

Actually, a year ago I asked Dr. Fuhrman for his thoughts on mobile phones and cancer risk. And he admitted it’s hard to say. “The bottom line is we don’t know,” he explained, “Cancer causation is a 20 to 50 year process. So we have to follow young people for more than 20 to 30 years to really have answers here.” Good idea! Currently the largest study on cell phones and cancer was only 10 years.

Image credit: samantha celera