Re: Information desired
Patsy Ruegg writes about histotechnologists and other technologists with
leukemias, lymphomas, and other cancers.
Anecdotal information in this area is worse than useless - it alarms people
without providing any needed information. Remember that at least a third of
us will eventually get cancer.
What is needed is a registry of histotechnology workers that would track
their medical histories, at least to the extent of obtaining and analyzing
death certificates. The AMA does this for physicians, and useful data has
been obtained that way - for example, excessive chronic myelocytic leukemia
in old time radiologists. (Pathologists as far as I know do not have a
different cancer experience from other physicians.)
Histotechnologists probably get more aromatic (xylene, toluene) exposure and
less formaldehyde exposure than pathologists. It would be interesting to find
out if histotechnologists have more chronic myelocytic leukemia and
myeloproliferative disorders than other medical technologists do, since these
diseases are known to be related to aromatic solvent exposure.
Unfortunately, the fact that so many histology workers are uncertified and
transient would make a registry of this sort extremely difficult to put
together. Particularly since it's probably the marginal workers in the field
who get the most solvent exposure.
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