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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