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April/May 2012 (vol. 08/6)
Nightshift work and breast cancer
Shiftwork involving circadian rhythm disruption has been classed as a 2A carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). This review updates evidence published since the IARC classification in 2007. Elevated risk of breast cancer has been shown after about 20 years’ exposure but current evidence is not sufficiently strong to support specific regulation of number of years’ working nights or restriction on certain patterns of work. Earlier or more intensive mammography for nightshift workers is not currently justified and there is insufficient evidence on the use of melatonin supplementation.
Occupational Health at Work April/May 2012 (vol. 08/6) pp48-49