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Farm workers, hairdressers among professions linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma

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Photo: Wicki58/iStockphoto

Wellington, New Zealand – New research has identified certain occupations and industries that may contribute to the risk of workers developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a group of related cancers affecting part of the body’s immune system.

A recent study, conducted by more than 30 researchers from 13 countries, included an analysis of 10 international non-Hodgkin lymphoma studies consisting of about 10,000 cases and 12,000 controls. The data confirmed associations between development of the cancer and employment as certain types of farm workers, hairdressers, cleaners, spray-painters, electrical wiremen and carpenters.

Researchers speculated that exposure to solvents in many of these jobs may play a role in the development of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but stressed that exposures to other hazards such as mold, wood dust and formaldehyde also may contribute to the risk.

The study was published in the April issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

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