Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Should be Concerned in The Textile or Clothing Industry Due to Risk of Breast Cancer

Occupational Safety and Health (Osh) Should be Concerned in The Textile or Cloth

Every month beginning at about age 20. At this early age, any small lumps are probably just normal breast glands and ducts. Over time you will get used to how your breasts normally feel so that you're able to tell if a new lump appears.


Check your breasts a few days after your period when your breasts aren't so sore. If you don't have periods or if they come at varying times, check your breasts at the same time every month.

Breast cancer is the illness that many women fear most, though they're more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than they are of all forms of cancer combined. Still, breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer deaths in American women. Although rare, breast cancer can also occur in men — in the United States, more than 200,000 women and around 1,500 men will develop the disease in 2005.

Changes to look for in your breasts:

Women who work in certain industries may face a greater risk of breast cancer, according to a study from Israel.

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. As a secondary effect OSH may also protect employers, customers, suppliers, and members of the public who may experience an impact from the workplace environment.

Breast cancer rates are climbing worldwide, and have also risen among Israeli women, Dr. Judith Shaham of the University of Tel-Aviv and colleagues note in their report. Exposure to potential carcinogens on the job may be a factor in the increase, given that more women have joined the workforce.

To better understand the relationship between occupational exposures and breast cancer, the researchers surveyed 326 women with breast cancer and 413 women who were free of the disease.

Women who worked in the textile or clothing industry were about twice as likely to develop breast cancer as those who did not, the researchers found, while women whose work fell into the "various industries" category were at a four-fold increased cancer risk.

However, women who worked in administrative positions were at a 40 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer. Exposure to ionizing radiation increased cancer risk more than five-fold.

Eating a high-fiber or low-salt diet cut cancer risk, while women with a family history of breast cancer were more likely to develop the disease themselves.

Workers in clothing and textiles are exposed to a number of suspected or proven carcinogens on the job, the researchers note, including cotton dusts, dyes, flame retardants and organic solvents. Studies have also linked certain related occupations, such as spinning and weaving, to a greater breast cancer risk.

It is not possible to make "firm conclusions" about the "various industries" category, they add, because it included several small subgroups of women working in different fields.

"There is a possibility that exposure to carcinogens at work, especially those that mimic hormonal mechanisms, may have a synergistic effect with lifestyle and nutrition," the researchers conclude.

The terminology used in OSH varies between states, but generally speaking:

“Hazard”, “risk”, and “outcome” are used in other fields to describe e.g. environmental damage, or damage to equipment. However, in the context of OSH, “harm” generally describes the direct or indirect degradation, temporary or permanent, of the physical, mental, or social well-being of workers.

The Occupational Hygienist may be involved with the assessment and control of chemical, physical or biological hazards in the workplace that could cause disease or discomfort. Physical hazards may include noise, temperature extremes, illumination extremes, ionizing or non-ionizing radiation, ergonomics. Indoor air quality (IAQ) and safety may also receive the attention of the Occupational Hygienist. As part of this activity, the Occupational Hygienist may be called upon to communicate effectively regarding hazard, risk, and appropriate protective procedures; to evaluate and occasionally to design ventilation systems; and to manage people and programs for the preservation of health and well-being of those who enter the workplace.

If so, you may have occupational asthma, a lung disease caused by inhaling workplace fumes, gases or dust. In developed countries, it's the most common work-related lung disease. Although its exact prevalence is unknown, some researchers estimate it may account for 9 percent of asthma cases.

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