On The Job With Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma occupational risk factors identified
(dailyRx News) Exposure to certain chemicals is thought to be a possible cause of a blood cancer called multiple myeloma. Researchers have honed in on this to see how occupation affects risks.

An international study discovered that people who had worked in certain occupations had higher risks of developing multiple myeloma. These included telegraph and radio operators and people who had worked in the farming, printing or cleaning industries.


Previous research has suggested MM risks may be linked to working with children, live animals, chemicals, dust, contact with meat and ionizing radiation.

Researchers found that certain occupations increased an individual’s risk of multiple myeloma compared to people who had not had that occupation. They found:

General farm workers had a 77 percent increased risk compared to non-farm workers.

If someone had been exposed to chemicals for more than 10 years, they had a 62 percent increased risk of developing multiple myeloma.

Telegraph and telephone operators had a six-fold increased risk.

Printers also had higher risks, though they weren’t considered significant.

Low education level was also associated with a 69 percent increased risk.

The average person’s lifetime risk of being diagnosed with multiple myeloma is 1 in 159