Pilots and plane crews have higher melanoma risk
In a new study looking at data from 19 past studies, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, found that airline pilots and cabin crews may have twice the risk of developing cancerous melanoma compared to the general population.
The research team pulled data from previous studies that examined rates of melanoma among pilots and cabin crew. It found 19 such studies published between 1990 and 2013, which included more than 266,000 participants.
In addition to finding that pilots and members of cabin crews were twice as likely to develop melanoma, they also determined that flight-based workers were 40 percent more likely to die from melanoma compared to the general population.
The team believes that the higher risk may be due to the increased exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation at higher altitudes, and also weather conditions, like snow and thick clouds, which can further increase the amount of UV radiation to which that pilots and cabin crew are exposed.