Night shifts is classified as “probably carcinogenic”

Shift work, which regularly takes place at night, is a health risk: Affected more often get cancer than people who work only during the day. An international panel of experts confirmed now.

About 20 percent of the employees must regularly work at night. Night shifts mess up the day-night rhythm of the body and are therefore very tiring. The duration of this is not without health consequences: in 2007, the International Agency for research on cancer (IARC) found that night shift work »probably krebserregend« is. It falls in the group 2A of carcinogens to be found in, for example, glyphosate, and red meat. This assessment has now been reviewed by a panel of 27 experts on behalf of the IARC and after the Review confirmed. Their assessment is based on limited data from human studies, on good data from animal experiments and on a strong biological plausibility, the scientists report in the journal The Lancet Oncology.

The only German member in the expert Commission Professor Dr Hajo Zeeb, head of the Department of prevention and Evaluation, Leibniz Institute for prevention research and epidemiology &ndash was; GDP. According to him, there is a relatively clear connection between night work and malignant tumors of the breast, prostate and intestine. »However, due to the study design, other explanations are not completely &ndash exclude; that’s why we had to the decision criteria of the IARC in group 2A, probably carcinogenic, entscheiden«, so Zeeb.

Like the GDP, this does not apply to the classification explicitly as a risk assessment. Was evaluated on the basis of defined criteria, whether between night shift work and cancer there is a connection. This say nothing about the actual level of cancer risk.