For the first time, a Pentagon study has shown that the ground crews who fuel, maintain, and launch those aircraft are also getting sick.
Military pilots have high incidences of cancer, as per a Pentagon study. The information was sought after for years by retired military aviators who had expressed worries about the number of air and ground crew members they knew who had cancer.
According to the Associated Press, they were warned that previous military examinations had not discovered any proof that they posed a greater threat than the general American populace.
In its year-long study of nearly 900,000 service members who flew or worked on military aircraft between 1992 and 2017, the Pentagon discovered that air crew members had an 87% higher rate of melanoma, a 39% higher rate of thyroid cancer.
Moreover they found a 16% higher rate of prostate cancer for men and a 16% higher rate of breast cancer for women. In general, flight crews had a 24% greater chance of developing all malignancies.
While ground crews had a 19% higher rate of brain and nervous system cancers, a 15% higher rate of thyroid cancer, and a 9% higher rate of kidney or renal cancers. The study also revealed that women had a 7% greater risk of breast cancer. All cancers combined had a 3% increase in incidence rates.
Additionally, there was some positive news.
Both ground and air workers had significantly lower lung cancer rates, while air crews also had lower rates of bladder and colon cancer.