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Last Edited: 1/31/2005

Breast Cancer in California Flight Attendants
06/1997 - 08/1999

Health problems faced by flight personnel have been a concern of workforce members for some time, but have been little studied by the scientific community.  Particular concerns include increased exposures to radiation and ozone, exposures to hazardous components of jet exhaust and time zone and schedule changes. These exposures are consistent with both well-established and suspected risk factors for breast cancer, a disease demonstrated in one small European study to occur nearly twice as often among flight personnel as would be expected in the general population.

California-based flight personnel are of particular potential interest in this regard as they represent a mix of both major domensic internation carrier acitvity.  This study took advantage of the opportunity to link a large, wel-defined cohort of flight attendants with the state-of-the-art population-based statewide cancer reporting system maintained by the California cancer Registry to see if the same risk relationship is evident.  This preliminary effort represented the largest such study to date.  Its findings can serve as the basis for more in depth studies of cancer risk factors in flight personnel.

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