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Petroleum Industry Workers are Prone to Cancer

A new report stated that the people residing nearing the petroleum facilities or working in the Petroleum Industry are at increased risk of developing cancer. The study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

A new review conducted by scientists in the Environment and Lifestyle Epidemiology Branch of the International Agency for Research on Cancer provides information that Petroleum Industry workers and residents living near petroleum facilities are at an increased risk of developing several different cancer types. The results add to heightening evidence of the health effects of air pollution from petroleum extraction and refining. The results are based on a systematic review and meta-analysis of 41 cohort studies, 14 case-control studies, and two cross-sectional studies.

The study found that Petroleum Industry work as being associated with an increased risk of mesothelioma, skin melanoma, multiple myeloma, and cancers of the prostate and urinary bladder, and a decreased risk of cancers of the oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, and pancreas. Offshore work increased the risk of lung cancer and leukaemia in stratified analysis. Residential proximity to petroleum facilities was associated with an increased risk of childhood leukaemia.

The authors of the study made a statement that further studies are needed to describe exposure pathways of petroleum and its closest derivatives like benzene, to identify the drivers of the observed modifiers of cancer risk. There is a need for targeted studies in under-researched areas of high petroleum production with presumably higher exposures. The researchers argue that the best way forward may be an international to guide new-generation studies in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, to harmonize study protocols and exposure assessments.

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