Researchers at the Cancer Registry of Norway have investigated the incidence of skin cancer among 25,000 oil workers employed in the North Sea between 1965 and 1998.
They found that the risk of skin cancer increases with the duration of skin contact with benzene and crude at the work.
The researchers have investigated development of skin cancer on the forearms and hands, from the elbow and beneath, where the risk of direct contact with oil and chemicals is greatest.
“The fact that we focused on such small anatomical area allows us to study the context more precisely,” Jo S. Stenehjem, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Cancer Registry’s Research Department, told newspaper Dagbladet.
“We discovered that oil workers that had been exposed to crude oil and benzene for ten years or more had had up to seven times the high risk of skin cancer on the hands and forearms compared with those who had never been exposed to it,” Stenehjem said.