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Icelandic pilots show higher risks of getting skin cancer.


A new study carried out among Icelandic pilots show that pilots on international routes are more likely to get skin cancer than the average person.

According to the study, pilots were 25 times more likely to have skin cancer than other people.

The study included 458 pilots and was carried out by Vilhjalmur Rafnsson, a doctor at Reykjavik University. The pilots, employed by Icelandic carrier Iceland Air, compared the number of skin cancer cases among the pilots with the number of cases in the population as a whole.

The results show that pilots on international routes are 15 times more likely to have skin cancer while those pilots that cross more than five time zones are 25 times as likely to have it.

The results may be at least partly explained by disturbances in the diurnal rhythm and subsequently the melatonine levels, which affects the pigmentation in the skin. Stronger radiation or sunbathing may also have a part in the results.

There are reportedly some plans to also study Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and Danish pilots to further study the problem and an article with the results is being published in the journal 'Occupational and Environmental Medicine'.

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Publication:Airline Industry Information
Date:Feb 21, 2000
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