Unit V Literature Review
BOS 4201 Toxicology
Columbia Southern University
Unit V Literature Review
Is Lung Cancer an Occupational Issue or a smoker vs nonsmoker issue? This article review will take a look at whether the exposure to benzene is more prevalent to lung cancer from exposure to tobacco use or if exposure to chemicals from occupational use are just as prevalent to lung cancer. To reach this determination we first must understand what benzene is, then what chemical carcinogens have an impact on occupationally exposed lung cancer. Lung cancer is a cancer that starts in one’s lungs and is one of the leading types of cancer in both men and women today. The intake of air brings with it the risk of potential exposure to airborne contaminants such as benzene from tobacco smoke or a chemical carcinogen. The first look will be at benzene followed by chemical carcinogens.
Benzene is defined in the course textbook as the simplest ringed compound consisting of 6 carbon and 6 hydrogen atoms. It is a colorless and flammable liquid widely used in organic synthesis, as a solvent, and as a motor fuel. (Richards & Bourgeois, 2014). In addition to being used in the previously mentioned forms it is also used in several different products such as paint, furniture was detergent, rubbers, inks, glue, adhesives, industrial cleaning and degreasing formulations. Exposure to benzene can increase the risk of cancer and lead to anemia and a decrease in blood platelets (Richards & Bourgeois, 2014). Furthermore, smoke from tobacco is one of the primary sources of inhaled benzene exposure for the general population, (Fiebelkorn & Meredith, 2018).
Chemical carcinogen exposures in the occupational environment come from many different routes. Normally everyday contact with chemicals are too low to cause harmful health issues, being exposed while in the workplace can be a serious issue. Chemical exposure in the workplace happens at higher levels and over longer periods of time, (Muncy, 2018). There are plenty of chemical carcinogens that can be present in an occupational environment to include Arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds, asbestos, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, hexavalent chromium, and silica just to name a few.
Research for this article review was conducted via The Business Source Ultimate data base. The search started out reviewing articles of benzene exposure via tobacco use and its connection to lung cancer versus the occupational cancer via non mutagen exposure such as chemical carcinogens, radiation as a physical carcinogen. There were findings available but limited due to the restriction of having to be published within the last seven years. Two of the articles reviewed were from the An International Journal, one was from the Professional Safety Journal, and two were from the American Journal of Public Health. The titles of the articles reviewed are Biomarkers of Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Racial/Ethnic Groups at High Risk for Lung Cancer. American Journal of Public Health, Estimation of the Leukemia Risk in Human Populations Exposed to Benzene from Tobacco Smoke Using Epidemiological Data. Risk Analysis, Lung Cancer in Never Smokers: Epidemiology and Risk Prediction Models. Risk Analysis, REAL & PRESENT DANGER: The Underestimated Impact of Carcinogens in the Workplace, and Work-Related Lung Cancer: The Practitioner’s Perspective.
The articles reviewed had similar points and agreed that there are more cases of occupational lung cancer from non-mutagen carcinogens such as chemicals than mutagen carcinogen such as benzene. In one article, Lung Cancer in Never Smokers by McCarthy, Meza, Jeon, & Moolgavkar (2012), they discussed a review that was conducted of lung cancer occurrence and mortality among never smokers and non-smokers. In this article they admit that most lung cancer can be attributed to smoking with 80% and 90% being attributed to just that. They go on to state that there are indeed other risk factors such as age, cooking fumes, ionizing radiation, radon gas, asbestos, and occupational and workplace exposures to carcinogens that can be the in the reason for the other 10 to 20 percent of lung cancer victims, (McCarthy et al., 2012). In the article Real and Present Danger by Muncy (2018) a key takeaway is the discussion of why occupational cancer prevention has a lower profile than occupational injury and what steps must be taken to raise the profile of occupational cancer prevention. The next article reviewed was Estimation of the Leukemia Risk in Human Populations Exposed to Benzene from Tobacco Smoke Using Epidemiological Data by Fiebelkorn & Meredith, (2018). In it they discussed the association between occupational benzene exposure and the differences in exposure to benzene through tobacco use. After that the following article reviewed was Work-Related Lung Cancer: The Practitioner’s Perspective by Weissman & Howard, (2018). In this article was a discussion on why primary prevention was the greatest way of decreasing or eliminating causative exposures to occupational carcinogens and tobacco smoke to thwart the human and economic costs of work-related lung cancer (Weissman & Howard, (2018). The last article reviewed was Biomarkers of Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Racial/Ethnic Groups at High Risk for Lung Cancer by Fagan, et al., (2015). In this article the writers examined biomarkers of tobacco smoke exposure among several different groups to include Native Hawaiians, Filipinos, and Whites, that have different risk to lung cancer. They found that Racial/ethnic groups with higher rates of lung cancer had slower nicotine metabolism than Whites. Additionally, the complex relationship between lung cancer risk and nicotine metabolism among racial/ethnic groups needed further clarification (Fagan, et al., (2015).
The author’s opinion after reviewing these articles is that lung cancer can come from multiple types of exposure be it a chemical carcinogen or a mutagen. The best way to prevent over exposure is to be cognizant of what is one is being exposed to and possible prevention methods. It was found through the research of these articles that occupational exposure to carcinogens in the workplace is 3% to 6% of all cancers worldwide (Muncy, 2018). On the other side of that argument was the finding that a smoker’s exposure to benzene contributed to smoker induced leukemia and up to 80% of benzene exposure was due to tobacco smoke (Fiebelkorn & Meredith, 2018). With these findings in mind it makes one think that exposure of carcinogens through smoking is a greater danger than exposure through occupational carcinogens. On the other hand the writer would have to agree with the majority of the articles reviewed that there are more cases of occupational lung cancer from non-mutagen carcinogens such as chemicals than mutagen carcinogen such as benzene.
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