Increased risk of skin cancer among oil workers

NjordplattformenStord. Njordplattformen.Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

Oil workers who have had direct skin contact with crude oil and benzene have a much greater risk of skin cancer, writes Dagbladet.

The researchers have investigated the incidence of skin cancer among 25,000 oil workers employed in the North Sea between 1965 and 1998. The risk of skin cancer increases with the duration of skin contact with benzene and crude oil at work, the Cancer Register’s new survey shows.

The researchers have looked at skin cancer of the forearm and hands, ie from the elbow and down, where the risk of direct contact with oil and chemicals is greatest.

“Having focused on such anatomical area allows us to study the context more precisely,” says postdoctor Jo S. Stenehjem at the Cancer Registry’s research department to Dagbladet.

“We found that oil workers exposed to crude oil and benzene for ten years or more had up to seven times higher risk of skin cancer on the hands and forearms compared with those who were never exposed,” says Stenehjem, who got a PhD on cancer among North Sea workers.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today